June 7, 2021
My newly retired wife took advantage of her newfound freedom and went to the church yesterday morning to hang out with the gardening gang. She came home with all sorts of stories, and a giant smile on her face. Simply put, it was just the joy of being able to be with people and interact in-person again. There were 3 clusters of Faith folks around the property. The gardening gang was doing their toil in the soil thing at the front of the church. The CWID (Church Work in Durham) group had a food-drive truck (full to the brim, I’m told) set up at the driveway entrance. And the landscaping gang were doing their lumberjack thing in the back woods. In other words, Faith United was buzzing with activity and people again. All outdoors, of course.
My wife brought me several greetings from folks, and told me of how delighted everyone was to see one another. I also heard stories of excellent models of sensitive care – like one member who was double vaccinated and gently asking people if they were ready to receive a hug – and most importantly lovingly respecting anyone’s preference to say, no not yet.
You may remember that our Council has empowered a small group called the “Re-Opening Team” to take responsibility for keeping up to date on the ever-changing rules and regulations for gatherings, and for providing wisdom as to when and how we might gather in-person again. The Tuesday morning groups are one such example. We’re also now able to allow small groups of under 5 to be inside the building. But that doesn’t mean a free for all, because we’re still needing to ensure safety, signing in, disinfecting, etc. Not to mention there are very few keys being issued, so access is controlled. Also, the prevailing advice is for staff to work from home where possible, so that won’t be changing for now either.
As for when more of us can be together, I want to tell you about something we’re planning for Wednesday August 25th. It will be an outdoor, mid-week, in-person worship gathering on that Wednesday evening! We can’t possibly know what the rules will be like by then, but we’re very confident we’ll be able to gather together in a larger group by then. I’m very excited for that!
I don’t know about you, but these little glimpses of things opening up again, and people being able to be together again, well, they just feel really, really heartwarming to me. It’s like we’ve been holding our collective breath for a year and a half, and now we’re finally feeling like we can breathe it out – at least a little at a time. I’ll take it! And I’ll savour it. It kind of reminds me of the story we tell during communion each month.
“And in that moment their eyes were opened, and they recognized him (in one another). His Presence had been made known to them in their gathering together, and in their sharing of a sacred moment of reconnection.”
Surely, God is in this place! Help us notice!
See you soon…