I thought it was just me, this feeling of being disconnected. I have spoken and emailed with a number of people in the last several days and that sentiment seems to be as prevalent as the recent humidity.
We are social beings and staying in touch by phone, text, email, face-time, zoom or whatever method of technology you are using, is fine, but let’s face it — nothing beats a hug or an in-person smile.
I think this time of quarantine and sequestering is particularly difficult for communities of faith. (That is not at all to suggest that hospital patients, those in retirement communities or who live alone are not even worse off.) But getting back to communities of faith; sure we can watch video or live streaming services, we can study scripture with others on zoom, we can pray with our family members at home, but still, it is not the same.
I fear that for some people it would be easy after all these weeks to disconnect from church altogether. I caution us all against that. You may recall that I have often mentioned that on occasion people tell me they are too sad, too angry or too distracted to pray. My response is that when you are not able to do it, we will do it for you. We, your siblings in Christ will pray for you, for as long as it takes.
Consider how a live coal can kindle another that is cold, dead even. It is why we stoke the coals, move them around, perhaps blow on them so that just a little spark gets the fire going again. I imagine that when we offer prayer on behalf of another, or when we share holy conversation with one another it is as if the Spirit were blowing across our faith rekindling it and pushing away the grief, anger, or apathy we might be feeling.
In all honesty at the present time there is no certainty as to when this pandemic might end. I urge you therefore to stay as connected as possible to one another and to your Lord and the church. Please follow established protocols even if they are inconvenient and stay as safe as you can.
We are having in-person worship but the expectation is that you do not attend if you are not feeling well or could possibly have been exposed to the virus. You must wear a mask during the entire service, your temperature will be checked and you must keep 6 ft. from others, not sing or hug or shake hands with others. It is painfully restrictive to be sure, but if it keeps others safe we do it for the sake of our neighbor. Until you can return to regular worship we will continue to provide a video of the service.
I miss you all and continue to hold you in prayer.
The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier