Another challenging Thanksgiving is behind us and as we step gingerly from the long weekend there remains much that is uncertain and worrisome. Cases and deaths related to COVID-19 continue to rise, almost as fast as the price of fuel and there is increasing concern about global supply chains and the health of the global economy as governments begin the delicate task of ending pandemic relief programs. All that makes my worries and challenges seem pretty insignificant – but I’ll share them with you anyway: how to function in ministry when a circuit breaker is tripped and where to I log my hours related to COVID-19 testing and reporting.
The first is a serious question and the second is offered almost in jest.
Ministry is first and foremost about relationships – well, at least is is for me – being present with people, coming alongside them in both the challenging and celebratory times and for much of the past 18 months my ‘coming alongside’ has been hindered by both pandemic restrictions and a desire to not put people in the awkward position of having to make a decision to have me into their home – as they may be, as we all should be doing, limiting contacts so as to limit the possibility for spread.
Yes, I make phone calls and host Zoom meetings. Yes, we live-stream the Sunday Gathering and I respond to comments made on the stream. And yes, I have met with people during moments of crisis and gathered with individuals and families in-person for pastoral care. But I’m tired – and its only October, a mere nine weeks since vacation. This fourth wave is taking its toll on me. Truth be told, I’m wondering how much energy there’ll be to flow through this conduit when the circuit breaker is reset…
And so, for today, I’ll fill out the Rapid Testing Reporting Form and send it off to the person who gathers these things for the Chamber of Commerce and remind myself that yes, this is part of ministry – because by being tested twice per week and taking the time to submit the forms as required, I am doing my part to care for those who are part of this community.
Holding you all in prayer and care and asking that you do the same for me and other ministry personnel who are doing their best in these challenging times.
Please also hold the family of Edna Polley in care. Edna passed away at the Drew Nursing Home on Tuesday morning. A celebration of Edna’s life will take place on Friday morning, October 15th at 11AM.
Monday was a holiday and I spent it hauling some wood to the trailer and then making my way to PEI where I spent the day with my Mom and Dad. I returned home on Tuesday afternoon and participated in three different meetings and did some preparation for Sunday.
Today (Wednesday) I have three Zoom meetings booked and will spend time on either side of those meetings making phone calls, reading and preparing for Sunday.
I will be in the office Thursday afternoon and evening for meetings and am available to meet with you there. Please call ahead and set up an appointment. Proof of vaccination is required to enter the building.
Friday morning, as above, will be devoted to a funeral for Edna Polley and Friday afternoon and Saturday will be days off.
Sunday October 17th is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and I will be doing my best to explore this theme in addition to recognizing World Food Sunday. The texts suggested by the Revised Common Lectionary offer lots of possibilities for reflection. The General Council has suggested that this Sunday could also be used to draw attention to the need and the growing call for a Guaranteed Livable Income. Moderator Richard Bott has recorded an introduction, a call to worship, and an opening prayer that we may use in our Sunday Gathering. You may wish to have a look at a new video featuring young adults speaking about a Guaranteed Livable Income. At this point, I’m not sure where I’ll end up going… but I must confess that I wish the Divine would speak into my situation as they did Job’s (see text above).