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March 8, 2022

Dear friends,

Because of our publishing schedule, it sometimes proves difficult to time things with this weekly message. However, I want to let you all know about something coming up this next Sunday that I think is going to be a meaningful time.

As a church, we have circled March 13th as the Sunday that masks indoors will become optional. We have been watching trends and listening to expert advice, and we are also aware that many school systems and city governments have been easing mask mandates. We also want to be sure that everyone is comfortable worshipping together. As with everything COVID, each decision is challenging because it is so novel. I have been so proud of this church for continuing to find ways to draw together as we navigate through this.

March 13th also holds some significance. March 13th will mark the two-year anniversary, almost to the day, that significant lockdowns began to happen in the United States. I keep going back to conversations I was having two years ago, and I remember distinctly talking to another pastor about what we are going to do about Easter? To which he replied, “You need to start thinking about what you are going to do about Christmas.” In these two years, there has been terrible loss and all kinds of loss. Loss of life, relationships, jobs, promise, learning, illusions; and the list can go on. On March 13th, then, we are going to have a service of Loss and Hope. People will have an opportunity to name what we have lost, and we will give that loss to God. We will also pray for our future, so we can face it unafraid, and hopeful for what God is doing in our world. March 13th also happens to be the Sunday that our clocks spring forward, marking that the days are going to start getting longer than the nights, and how appropriate is it that this is the day we begin to step into the light?

I hope everyone will join us, in whatever way you can. I think of the words I speak at the beginning of funerals from the United Methodist Book of Worship, “Friends, we have gathered here to praise God and to witness to our faith…We come together in grief, acknowledging our human loss. May God grant us grace, that in pain we may find comfort, in sorrow hope, in death resurrection.”



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