May 14, 2020
Dear Calvary Family,
I hope this letter finds you healthy and well and perhaps enjoying the refreshment of both the sunshine and rain showers this week. On our Midweek Virtual Gathering on Wednesday evening, there were two main themes that emerged during check-ins: people planting flowers/working in the garden and people getting haircuts! Who knew that such simple things could bring such joy! It was good to celebrate our joys and thanksgivings together. Some also shared of the continued “ups and downs” they feel during this time, and it’s important to share those worries, frustrations, angers, laments, disappointments, and griefs together as well. God welcomes our full range of emotions.
In fact, if you are looking for a new spiritual practice, consider reading through the Book of Psalms. Bible Gateway (biblegateway.com) is a great resource if you want to read one psalm in several translations. Try the New Revised Standard Version, the New International Version, the New King James Version, The Contemporary English Version, The Message, and The Voice. As you read the psalm in a variety of translations, choose a phrase that resonates with you and see how the words are different in each version. Pick the version of that phrase that speaks most directly to you, and repeat it to yourself throughout your day or write it on a post-it and put it on your mirror or refrigerator. This is a simple prayer practice to ground you in God’s presence and in the presence of those who have felt emotions similar to what you might be feeling.
As a reminder, Colorado remains in the “Safer at Home” phase of COVID-19 mitigation, and gatherings over 10 people are prohibited so our church building remains closed. On the Faith Leaders call that Gov. Polis had this past Tuesday, he reiterated that we will not know until May 25th if we are able to move to the next phase. At that time, based on the statistical data, we will know what June might look like. Gatherings of up to 25 people might be permissible in this next phase, with masks, 8 ft. social distancing, proper disinfection supplies/protocols, people age 65+ and/or with a compromised immune system or vulnerable health situation still encouraged to stay home, etc. Time will tell. Rest assured your Calvary staff and lay leadership are staying informed the best we can and we will keep you informed of what we know when we know it.
For now, considering all the complexities of opening the building, even for small gatherings, and given the age range of many of our members, I anticipate we will continue to worship and connect “virtually” for the foreseeable future. We are taking the risks related to COVID-19 very seriously and know that the more we “stay home” right now as much as possible, the more we are “loving our neighbor” and leading by example in our community. The longer this time stretches, the more creative we are seeking to be in how we care for one another - including those who live alone as well as families, who are under particular stress during this time. Know that your pastors are here for you; reach out to us as you need, we want to hear how we can best serve you during this time.
In closing, here are three things to note this week:
- On behalf of our congregation, Pastor Morgan and our youth leaders are doing a drive-by “congratulations” parade for our graduating seniors this Sunday. We are grateful to them for helping our graduates and their families celebrate all that they have achieved.
- We’re beginning a new Midweek Prayer Line on Thursdays at 12:00 p.m. MST. This 10-15 minute call will be led by a pastor and will include the latest congregational prayer updates as well as a time of prayer. Call (978) 990-5178, then enter access code 1012757 when prompted. Many thanks to Pastor Morgan for coordinating this Faith Formation opportunity.
- Our Midweek Virtual Gatherings on Zoom are moving to Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. MST. Watch your email for the link.
I leave you this week with a poem I read on gratefulness.org (a great resource, by the way!):
We Look With Uncertainty by Anne Hillman
We look with uncertainty
beyond the old choices for
to a softer, more permeable aliveness
which is every moment
at the brink of death;
for something new is being born in us
if we but let it.
We stand at a new doorway,
awaiting that which comes…
daring to be human creatures,
vulnerable to the beauty of existence.
Learning to love.
Amen to that!
Looking beyond uncertainty and learning to love alongside you,
~ Pastor Anne