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    Noticings…

    August 12, 2020

    It’s weird being here. I’m writing this Noticings from my minister’s study at the church. If you missed the news last week, I’m currently offering limited ‘office hours’ on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm – at Faith United. During that time you can drop in to talk with me, or to quietly pray in the sanctuary, or you could walk the labyrinth (bring socks). It’s an experiment to help us learn what we need to do to ensure an eventual safe return to some in-person activities at Faith United. The entry door will remain locked (in fact, the locks have been re-keyed!), and I will need to let you in. The only areas available are the foyer, the foyer washroom, and the sanctuary. The church is NOT open, in the conventional sense, but we are trying to begin to move toward some kind of reopening in the coming weeks/months. So we’re taking a baby step.

    And it feels really weird. The foyer has no furniture – just a circle of socially-distanced hard chairs that can be more easily cleaned and disinfected. It is not a welcoming place. I think that’s what feels so weird about it. Thirteen years ago when I first walked into Faith United I had a palpable and undeniable sense that this church felt good, and warm, and welcoming, and spiritual. Maybe you felt that when you first walked in too? I have no doubt whatsoever that it will feel that way again. But not today.

    And I’m ok with that. For now. Because for now, even though we want and need to be together, being together physically is not a good idea. Our region has been doing well with reducing positive Covid-19 tests but we must not allow ourselves to be complacent and think the challenge is over and done. It isn’t. Places all over the world that had things well under control are experiencing new spikes in case numbers as they open up and try to return to ‘normal’. It’s disheartening, but we must learn from them.

    So here I am, feeling weird, taking some baby steps, tentatively experimenting with a limited reopening. I expect that after a couple of weeks of this it will feel better. I pray that won’t lead to relaxing our precautions.

    One thing this whole season is making us do is to re-evaluate what it means to be a community of faith. Can we find deep and rich ways to love God, love people, and love one another without necessarily all gathering together in a big crowd at a certain hour once a week? Can we adapt our Faith United awesomeness to new modes of expression? Can we ‘do’ church differently? Yes! I know we can! And as we do, as we take those baby steps (or giant steps!), I am absolutely confident that I won’t feel weird anymore. I’ll feel like I’ve always felt at Faith United – blessed.

    Shalom,
    Rev. Larry
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