Updated: Oct 2, 2020
We have all talked quite a bit in the last few months about how difficult it can be to mark time. I jokingly say often that I have no idea what day or time it is. I'm grateful for calendars and Morning Edition on NPR to help keep me informed of the days as they pass. There are other routines that help, too. One of those is Sunday "Office Hours" at the church.
We started "Office Hours" over the summer as a way to see each other face-to-face. Most who take advantage of this opportunity to see and talk briefly with church staff simply drive through the portico on the education side of the building and say a quick "Hello!" to our smiling faces, which can't be seen, of course, under our masks. We hope you can see the smiles in our eyes as we speak to you through the car window and wave as you drive by.
I have appreciated 2 important things about these opportunities:
time spent outside, even in the occasional rain shower, and
time spent connecting with you and the church staff.
We are all there to see and speak with you, of course! It's a bonus that we get to see and speak with each other while we wait for you to arrive. Staying connected with you and each other in this way has helped us to share our frustrations together, ask for help when we need it, talk about new ideas, and continue our work together to help create, direct, and guide ministry experiences at Embry Hills. In some of the most challenging circumstances I have ever experienced, this opportunity to be "together" has really helped my spirit.
While we continue in Phase 1 of re-gathering, I encourage you as you are able to drop by on Sunday afternoon from 2-4 or Tuesday afternoon from 2:30 - 4:30. Even if it's just for a few moments after a trip to the grocery store, I think you will find a little extra pep in your drive home or that your smile will last a little longer once you leave. I have experienced that, for sure. Seeing a familiar (even masked!) face is so good for the soul. I am reminded each time I interact with you why we are together: to welcome all into a nurturing community of faith, to serve others, and to grow in Christ.
So come by! Staff members take turns being present to talk and pray with you, to receive your Spirit of Giving donations or other donations you want to drop off, and to smile and wave a warm greeting as you go on your way. Jesus said, "Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." (Matthew 18:20) Whether we see 30 of you or 3 of you, we are there for you.
Maybe the staff should start working up some dance numbers (no singing yet!)... Got any requests?
Take care of yourselves. It's still a hard time. God is still faithful. We are still in this together.
Perhaps the reason I want to share this with you now is that I am feeling the need to express gratitude to God for God’s never-ending pursuit of us, even when we are feeling disconnected from friends, family, work, church, community, and life in general. This is a very hard time, and more than ever we need reminders of God’s love and care for us.
God’s love for YOU does, indeed, remain steadfast. No matter what. Forever.
If you need to talk, please reach out. I am always here.