We are swimming in uncharted waters.
None of us were alive the last time a pandemic of this magnitude hit the earth and seminary sure as heck didn’t train me or any of my colleagues for an event anything like COVID-19.
We can’t gather together for in-person worship for the time being and I can’t tell you when that sad fact will change. In the meanwhile, I’m trying to create as many opportunities for engagement as I can. Some of you may have caught my first ever Facebook Live Wednesday evening prayer service, which I hope to make a regular event for as long as it is meaningful to our community. I also hope to have better audio quality for the next evening service, with an external microphone ordered and coming soon. I have already hosted video conferences for several church committees to maintain their regularly scheduled meetings and I hope to set up more soon. Are you part of a committee with ideas to share, concerns to voice, or contingency plans to make? Let me know, and I’ll set up a virtual meeting. Are you living alone or feeling lonely and missing the conversation at coffee hour? I would be happy to set up video conferences just for casual chit chat…we could all sit in our own homes, drinking coffee or tea, and catching up. Communication technology is blessing to our current situation.
For those of you spending more time than usual browsing social media, Alayna and I have been posting as much positive content as we can. We know that there is a lot of scary news going around and that it can be overwhelming. If you are a person who watches the news on television, please change the channel every now and then to something more uplifting. Knowing the exact up-to-the-minute statistics won’t keep you any healthier. If you are finding that your eyeballs are glued to reading news coverage of the spread of the virus, please take a moment to turn to the comics section, watch a live stream of otters playing, or look for some of the positive news that is happening (I promise that there IS positive news happening).
Because we can’t meet for in-person worship, I’m trying to come up with creative alternatives. Worship resources should be added to our website soon, hopefully allowing you to follow along with the service that I am trying to put together for Sunday morning. I’m even planning a socially distant–but physically present–service for Palm Sunday! My idea is that we could meet at our usual time for a “drive-through” service: each car will be handed a palm branch and a page of prayers as well as the day’s gospel story, and then we can all drive around the neighborhood, waving our palms.
What would be meaningful to you in this uncertain season? How can I pray for you? Do you have other ideas of how to stay connected while we’re apart? Please let me know!
I hope that we can make “mini Mouse” newsletters a regular item in your inbox during our time apart. How are you filling your time? Are you working on a hobby, spending more time with pets, cleaning out an ancient closet, writing poetry, creating art, or anything else you might like to share? We’d love to include pictures of what you’re doing or making! Heard any good jokes lately? We could use a laugh! Watched any good films? We would be happy to read your recommendations!
Know that I am praying for each and every one of you, that you stay healthy, that you stay connected, and that you stay strong in the faith. We will get through this. I will see all of you again.
shalom and agape,
Rev Leia Rose Battaglia
Rev Leia Rose Battaglia