March 13, 2020
As we listen to the news and updates on the Coronavirus (Covid-19), our thoughts turn to the most vulnerable members of our society—those with compromised immune systems, those living with chronic illnesses, our more senior members. We think of our mothers and fathers. We think of those living in retirement communities, long-term care facilities, those in the hospital. Our prayers are with each of you as we try to navigate this pandemic together with our living, loving God.
As we question and wrestle, as we journey through the confusion, please know that we are here to listen to your cares and concerns. You can call or text me (Pastor Linda) at 484-529-2241 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Though I try to visit folks as often as possible, in the coming weeks I will be making more phone calls than visits as nursing homes and hospitals place restrictions on visitors.
Also, please be aware that the leadership of Good Shepherd UCC will be meeting on Monday evening to discuss ways we can continue to be the Body of Christ while also keeping each other and ourselves safe. We’ll look at current practices along with precautions we can put in place. For now, we will continue to Worship on Sunday mornings and hold our Lent Wednesday Worships. If there is a need to make changes, we will keep you informed through Facebook, our website, and e-mail.
The CDC has recommended that seniors and those who are at risk practice “social distancing.” If you do not feel well, please seek medical attention and stay home. We will deeply miss you, however, we want you to be safe. Some other ways we can help each other include:
- Reaching out to family, friends, neighbors by phone, cards, or email.
- Continuing to pray for each other, for medical professionals, for the more vulnerable members of our society, for those who are in leadership and making difficult decisions.
- Read Scripture, read the prayers posted on our Facebook page, write in a journal.
- Practice spiritual disciplines. Those of you present Wednesday evening experienced Lectio Divina (praying with Scripture). Consider using this practice to connect more deeply with God. If you were not present, Lectio Divina involves choosing a Scripture passage, reading it aloud, pausing to reflect on God’s message. After a time of reflection, read the passage a second time. Does something new speak to you? How might God be connecting to something going on in your life? After pausing, read the passage a third time. Journal your thoughts and spend some time in prayer.
- If you feel overwhelmed by the news cycles, give yourself permission to take a break. Turn off the television. Log out of social media. Pause and be still.
- Rest your body. Rest your spirit. Rest your mind.
Friends, in our humanness, we all experience anxiety and confusion. Know that God is in our midst today and all the days to come. Allow the peace of Jesus which passes human understanding to fill your soul. Trust that the compassionate presence of the Spirit is holding you, surrounding you, filling you. Know that you are loved; that God calls you beloved.
Peace, love, and blessings,
Pastor Linda & Deanna Herman, Council Vice President