15 Mar Together
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Rev. Molly Vetter
To support efforts at safeguarding the health of our community, Sunday gatherings in The Sanctuary and The Loft will NOT be meeting in-person for the rest of the month of March. This Sunday, we invite you join us online for live-stream worship at 10am, led by leaders from both gatherings. Watch online at www.westwoodumc.org/response.
Breathe in. Hold. Breathe out.
It’s been quite a week: our attention has been fixed on growing concern about the spread of COVID-19, a new coronavirus whose spread continues to grow. In an effort to mitigate its spread, our congregation has decided to cancel in-person worship gatherings. Currently, our campus is still open, and some small groups continue to meet, taking extra precautions.
As I watch my phone for news updates, I feel how easy it is to get drawn into a posture of anxiety. I want to remind you that we’re undertaking these disruptive measures because we care about the well-being of our whole community. Our proactive choices to limit physical interaction now are done with the hope of preventing our hospitals from being overloaded with needs they cannot meet. We are choosing disruption for the sake of preventing greater harm, not just for ourselves but for the common good. Presently, we have the freedom to choose limitation and inconvenience, and we gladly choose both.
I am aware, of course, that this puts a lot more pressure on some than others: in addition to the anxiety of pandemic, some of you are worried about loss of income. Others are increasingly isolated and vulnerable. Parents are needing to figure out how to care for children whose school has been cancelled. Doctors, nurses, and other health care workers are carrying extra work and responsibility.
Even as some in our community are scrambling to figure out how to deal with the disruption, others are finding empty space in their days because of cancellations. Our lenten devotional, which focuses on the idea and practice of sabbath, gives us a helpful way of looking at this. I pray that this strange transitional space may open up opportunities for sabbath reflection. Rather than becoming drawn into frenzied anxiety, may you see an opportunity to pause and reflect, looking for beauty, offering gratitude, and lifting prayer.
We’re going to be experimenting in these next few weeks at trying to figure out how to continue to grow closer to God and neighbor even as we restrict our physical interactions. This Sunday, we’ll gather together as a community for worship via internet, in a first attempt at gathering in that way. I hope you’ll join us. If you know someone in our community who might not yet know how to access a live-stream, I hope you’ll reach out and offer help! (It’d be a good excuse to reach out, anyhow.) Similarly, if you have or know of an unmet need in our community, I hope you’ll let us know and we’ll try to figure out how to respond, together.
Thanks for being a part of this community, and for doing whatever you can to contribute to the well-being of our community and world.
grace and peace,