2020. What a Year
It is already October and 2020 has been a year of new opportunities! We have been doing worship and mid week groups online since March and always looking for new ways to be community! We are weary and fatigued of COVID Isolation. Everyday I hear people say "I miss church and seeing everyone!" The whole congregation is now aware of what it is like when someone has a long term illness and confined to home or to a skilled care facility -- and isolated from family, friends and their church community. We have a new understanding of the importance of checking in with others -- telephone and text messages are vital to keep connected.
Worship as a community has continued to happen and amazingly we find that our worship is shared by many more people each week -- folks from across the nation and outside the US - than when we were meeting face to face. We are able to be in homes of many who are now claiming us as their faith community who could never drive to Richland Hills!
It is just like God to show us new opportunities in the midst of a time when it feels like so many things have been taken away from us! And God urges us to focus on the things that we do have and put our energy there!
We continue to lift up our essential workers in our congregation -- The Dr and Nurses, chaplains, and medical support staff workers, those who are keeping the banking and finance industry up and running; our teachers and education workers; our parents who are helping children with online school while working and those who keep the grocery shelves, gas stations, and toilet paper supplies available for us. We think of our hospitality industry workers who are unemployed or who have returned to work with greatly reduced hours and pay. We pray for all those small businesses who have had to close or who are struggling to keep going -- filled with stressed and fear every day.
God has promised to be with us through all things and this is certainly a time when we claim that promise and ask for God's presence to give us hope and the ability to make it through. May we as a community be there for one another -- to support, encourage, uplift and help everyone make it to the other side.
While people are missing the connection of Sunday worship -- I am delighted when I hear that two or three households have gathered for a patio or garage visit -- sitting safely spaced on lawn chairs and enjoying fellowship and face to face connection. After all these months -- the opportunity to see people is a huge lift that energizes us to keep going!