|Posted by communications on July 8, 2020 at 9:50 AM|
Just when we think restrictions may start to lighten, it seems the numbers continue to climb in what will be the strangest summer ever conceived. I have just returned from a week away to re-charge, re-center and re-think how our families, children and youth will re-convene once again. When you are on the beach spread apart from others and keeping social distance, you forget for a little while that our world has been turned upside down. A chance to connect with nature with walks on the sand, amazing seashells to collect, crashing waves to hear, soaring birds, dolphin fins breaking the water, games and sandcastles with my kids and floating over the crystal-clear waves like a kid myself. This is the mental place I go when I thoughtfully and prayerfully meditate to get centered when I am not there. We didn’t venture out often, but when we did it surprised us even though it has been our life for months. There were masks on most, museums and aquariums closed, restaurants operating differently than they ever have, no sightseeing, no tours and not many meals out, which we normally do because cooking on vacation has never been my favorite thing. And yet, I felt like I noticed more this time, appreciated more and took more breaths and times to reflect than I have ever before. Is it because we are experiencing the most unprecedented event in at least the last 100 years? Are we on a deeply needed pause to re-think how we do things? I don’t know, but I do know that it has been extremely challenging to be away from people, no contact, no hugs, no gathering, no in-person worship and did I mention NO HUGS! I never realized how much I need and like to give hugs!
So, how do we come back together? What will it look like? How and when can it happen? These are questions I pondered with a best friend while I was away and it was in relation to school for our kids, but I realized these are the same questions I am facing with Sunday School and Youth activities. The best I can tell is that all of this certainly has made us re-think how we do some things and challenge ourselves to be more creative than ever to engage everyone in gathering when we cannot gather. Our Feast of St. Alban Car Parade was such a blessing to see faces, or at least eyes, we had not seen in months. We collected more for our Red Wagon than I think ever before, passed out 24 VBS packets not including 26 that had gone to our La Escuelita children, had blessings, flowers, vegetables, directories and even lent out Prayer Books. Re-Think, Yes we are! Virtual VBS with corresponding daily videos, celebrating graduates by delivering yard signs and special gifts, coffee chats under the front church portico, online weekly services, weekly Zoom coffee hour, weekly Zoom Youth Group meetings and the list goes on of how we continue to Re-Think. Once again I am reminded of one of my favorite readings from 1 Corinthians, “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” Endure we are, St. Alban’s family and we are forever blessed and grateful for what each of you continue to share, offer and contribute for the needs of others. We WILL gather again and it will be all the more special for the wait, contemplation, Re-Thinking and most of all the appreciation to endure. Love and miss you all!