Noticings – September 1, 2021


September 1, 2021

I just glanced at my phone and noticed that it is September 1st today. That surprised me. It’s not like I’ve been away from the calendar, but seeing September caught me off guard. It shouldn’t have. At the time I noticed I was sitting on my deck enjoying a morning coffee, and it was quite cool and breezy. What happened to that oppressive heat? Oh, that’s August weather, I guess.

I think the main reason September surprised me is that the rhythms in my house are different. For the first time ever there’s no ‘back to school’ preparation happening. And, sadly, for the second time now there’s a very different, very muted ‘back to church’ preparation happening. In early summer it was looking like rhythms would be returning to ‘normal’ by September. Vaccination rates were climbing and Covid cases were very low. The optimism was palpable. We’ll be back by September!

But the ‘delta variant’ had other ideas. Vaccinations kind of levelled off in the mid 70% range, and people became much less cautious. In western Canada they relaxed mask mandates and gathering restrictions and now they are being hammered by skyrocketing illness. Our Faith United re-opening team thought that by summer’s end we’d be re-opening. Now we’re feeling very concerned and we’re pressing pause to wait and see what happens.

This is a depressing Noticings. Sorry. There are some hopeful things to notice though. Like how wonderful it was when we gathered in-person outside for worship last Thursday. (Apologies to anyone who didn’t hear about the last minute date change.) It was hot, but worshipping together like that was like a cool, refreshing drink. Hearing voices rise together in song again (masked, distanced, outdoors) was heavenly. And watching folks mingle and reconnect was balm for tired spirits. Yes, we’ll definitely have another outdoor worship gathering in September.

September. It was supposed to be different by now. It isn’t. That’s hard. So we will keep on keeping on. Continuing to be the church in ever-changing ways. Continuing to journey together in worship, in service, in mutual support. Continuing our commitment to love, love, love. If we’ve learned anything through Covid-tide it’s that nothing can deter us from being who and whose we are, together. Last Thursday powerfully reminded me of that. So bring on September and let’s see where the Spirit may lead us.

Rev. Larry