I have been connecting a lot with ministerial colleagues on Facebook recently. We share with each other what we are doing to cope with this new territory of pandemic and online services. One beloved colleague, the Rev. Misha Sanders, shared a photo of the church sign at her UU church in Georgia:
STAY HOME. STAY SAFE.
KNOW YOU ARE LOVED.
These simple words brought me some sense of being grounded in a very stressful week. Especially “Know you are loved.” Really, that’s all that we want to know. I was thinking of putting the following message on our sign at UUFCM:
Technically this isn’t correct, since the Fellowship hasn’t cancelled everything (just most things). But these days it sure feels like everything is cancelled: school, sports, weddings, church services. Love is what we cling to in these uncertain times. Hope is what we nurture in ourselves and one another: hope that this will pass and that we will survive. That our loved ones will be OK. And community is what gives us strength. I saw that so clearly on Sunday morning, leading a worship unlike any I’ve ever done, with 39 boxes on my computer screen indicating the people attending worship on our Zoom conference call. People tuned in with their computers to see familiar faces and hear familiar songs, prayers, voices. Community is alive and we find it where we can, including in this Fellowship—online or in person.
The other slogan that I was thinking of today, worthy of a church sign, was:
EVERYTHING IS CLOSED
AND FRESH AIR
Again, it feels that way, like everything is closed now. Restaurants. Movie theaters. Schools. But when I was out today, there were lots of people on the sidewalks and the park. I made it a point to say hello and wave to everybody. I felt the connection with these strangers, that we are all dealing with this new situation and taking advantage of a sunny afternoon as part of it. Being outside seems like one of the safer and healthier places to be in this outbreak, as I understand the science. Inside, I worry about every doorknob and every counter top that I touch. Outside there is space between people, there is air to carry away any infectious droplets from someone who is sick. And the sunshine is healing to our bodies and spirits. (The recommended best practice seems to be to stay six feet away from people, even outside.)
Friends, be well. Call and text your friends and loved ones. Use computers and cell phones to stay in touch. And take a walk outside as often as you are able. No one has taken that away from us.
Spirit of life and love, we are hunkered down, we are isolating ourselves, we are wary of our fellow human beings lest they be carrying a disease.
Remind us that we are OK. Remind us of the difference between caution and fear.
May we find peace in the solitude that is suddenly thrust upon us, a chance to reflect and recharge if we take it. May we find connection with loved ones in our homes and those far away.
May we embrace the beauty of nature, days lengthening and warmth returning.
May all beings be well. May all beings be at peace.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
Drew's office hours are suspended until further notice. However, he is reachable at any time via email, phone, or text.
Day off: Friday.
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