The vacation is over. For the past 31 days, each time I have opened my computer I have been reminded “No Backup for __ days. Connect to a power outlet while your backup disk is available.”
As I sat at my desk in the office this morning for the first time in 32 days and connected my computer to its power outlet, and the backup process began running in the background, I was overcome by the deep sense of separation that I feel from each of you, from this community called Church that we are a part of. It has been so long since – 25 Sundays in which I have not witnessed your smiles, heard the animated babble of the congregation, felt the warmth and strength of your hands in handshakes and hugs. I’ve missed you and our shared experience of community, prayer and praise.
Thankfully, one of the emails at the top of my email inbox is the Report and Recommendations from the Reopening Planning Committee in which the Committee recommends “that it is safe at this time to reopen as long as guidelines … are adhered to.” You can read the report and recommendations in its entirety here. I look forward to working with Jennie and the Executive of each of the congregations to implement the guidelines and recommendations in ways that are appropriate to each congregation.
The time away has been a healthy break. I needed the time away. Thank you to all who assisted in affording me the distance and space to rest and renew my spirit – a special thank you to Jennie who took responsibility for hosting the watch parties over August. Not having to worry about technology for 30 days was a much-needed gift!
And while I needed the time away, now is a time of settling into fall schedules and routines and reconnecting in new, exciting and what is sure to be sometimes challenging ways, as we live in and through this worldwide pandemic and its effects on our daily lives.
Over the coming weeks watch for news about our Sunday Gatherings and how you may participate in person or online – and watch as well for new opportunities for online community, sharing and learning.
To close, yesterday Diana Butler Bass in her regular communique ‘The Cottage’ spoke of the Unrelenting Hope For Rainbows. Her words were an encouragement for me:
In these days, when we fear we are drowning under the waves of the pandemic, the crisis of racial injustice, economic unraveling, and the climate crisis, we might remember the ancient sign of the bow in the sky – that sign of what Nigerian poet Jenim Dibie calls, “the unrelenting hope for rainbows,” the promise that draws our eyes to the beauty of light breaking through the darkest clouds.
Into the Season of Creation we go!