April 30, 2020
Calvary’s COVID-19/Coronavirus Response
Eblast for Friday, May 1, 2020
Happy May Day Calvary,
As we turn the calendar into another month and see springtime buds, sprouts, flowers, and sunshine around us, may these signs of new life in our natural world remind you of the truth and hope of resurrection and renewal that we celebrate in our spiritual lives in Eastertide. I invite you into a spiritual practice this week of noticing signs of life around you and discovering how they might be a message or reassurance from God. As you take a walk outside, or - if you are unable to get outside safely - as you see a sign of springtime new life from your window or on the T.V. screen, stop for a moment and see if that sign reminds you of any scripture verses or spiritual truths.
For example, this week on a morning walk I heard the beautiful morning song of the birds in our neighborhood and it reminded me of Psalm 104:
The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches…
How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures…
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.
- Psalm 104: 12, 24, 33-34
As I reflect on these words of the Psalmist I’m reminded that though my trials and struggles are very real to me, they are known to God not just as my individual struggles but as part of the overarching cycle of life and death, suffering and new life. I am not alone in my thoughts, my feelings, my voice, my breath. We are connected to creation in powerful ways. My praises and laments join those of the psalmist from centuries ago, and the air I breathe is the same air that gives voice to the song of the birds. Centering myself in these truths reminds me to center myself in the presence of God rather than in the feelings I have around my current circumstances. The eternal and ever-present nature of God reminds us of what is bigger than us and beyond us.
By the way, for a beautiful, meditative video of birds singing, click here:https://youtu.be/WUUM27T38IE.
This “noticing and awareness” is one spiritual practice that helps ground me in this ongoing time of grief, uncertainty, change, opportunity, and creativity. Whether I am having a difficult day feeling overwhelmed by the COVID-19 crisis, or a hope-filled day feeling blessed for my family, health, and faith - maintaining my center and grounding in God and in my breath is vital for my spiritual and emotional well-being.
What about you? What spiritual practices ground you? How is God speaking to you in this time? Or, if you are struggling to find a spiritual practice that works with the rhythms of your life right now or if it feels like God is silent - what is helping to remind you that that is okay? That we are in a global pandemic and there is no one right way to handle this or respond to all that you are feeling and experiencing? Are you able to give yourself grace to just “be” whether your faith feels strong right now or distant?
As this time of quarantine and staying home continues for many of us, and as others of us go back to work for the first time in weeks, and as others of us feel the wearying effects of being on the frontlines of this pandemic in our hospitals and grocery stores or other essential businesses - know that wherever you are in this mix, God is with you. And your Calvary family is praying for you. Remember to reach out to us if you need anything - spiritual, financial, or otherwise. Lean into the love of this community right now if you need some support. That’s what we are here for. And if you have some extra love to give, pick up the phone and call someone or write a card or send a text. That just might make the difference in someone’s ability to sense God’s presence this week.
A reminder that Calvary’s building remains closed through the month of May and staff will continue to work from home. Through Council and staff discussions, the consensus of our leadership is to be patient through this crisis and to “love our neighbor” by staying home as much as possible. Many considerations and factors will go into future decisions about when and how we “open” again; in the meantime, know that though we cannot physically gather in the same space right now, we remain together in spirit.
Looking to the birds (and listening to them too!),