I’m writing this today to let each of you know that I am praying for you and thinking about you. I’m praying and thinking about our church, about our community, and about our families and friends. I’m praying and thinking about ways we can continue to be the church in this new age, of the coronavirus and social distancing and flattening the curve. I’m praying and thinking about ways we can stay connected with one another, serve one another, and love one another. I’m praying and thinking about how we can carry our common faith proudly as we bear our individual crosses humbly.
Paul and I have spent the last five days praying and thinking. How can we best minister to this community in this time? What unique gifts and resources do we possess, and where can those blessings be most efficiently and practically shared? What is God calling Wilbraham Church to do?
God is calling all of us to practice the love that we have always preached. God is calling all of us to be responsible stewards of our own health, and to protect those whom we are called to love. God is calling on all of us to pray, and worship, and care for each other. God is calling on us to live out our faith in grace and hope.
So I spent this morning calling others, on the phone, and checking up on folks in our community. I hate talking on the phone, but I loved having the chance to actually hear the voices of the people I love and serve here in Wilbraham. Waiting through the rings until I heard that familiar voice was so difficult, but hearing every “hello!” was such a blessing.
It’s been a wonderful opportunity to talk and chat, to make connections and deepen relationships. I’m going to keep at it. I’m going to keep pressing the buttons and making the calls, taking the chance to get closer to so many of you even as we’re kept further apart in our attempts to keep ourselves and community safe. And I’m going to keep posting these as often as I’m able – maybe not every day, but most days – so you can keep track of everything that’s still going on at church.
And I encourage all of you to start reaching out too. Pick up your address book and thumb through your contacts. Flip through your church directory and scroll through your friend list. We don’t want our social distancing to turn into social isolation. And we don’t want our extravagant welcome muscles to get weak. The best way for all of us to keep our faith right now is to practice it.
Let us pray:
Holy and Almighty God, who makes the sun to rise and the rain to fall, who is present in every place and in every heart, fill us with your Holy Spirit. Bring us your peace, which surpasses all understanding. Bring us your comfort and your strength. Make us instruments of your peace, your comfort and your love.
In these anxious days, calm our minds. Help us to remember to give thanks for those whom we love, and to tell them that we love them. In the midst of our uncertainty, still our souls. Help us to fix our thoughts on your steadfastness in faith and love, which you showed to us through Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Stay safe and be well.
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