Stay Safe. Stay Home

Stay Safe. Stay Home

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As of this morning, four states have issued a Stay Safe, Stay Home instruction. Some call it Shelter In Place. It is the more stringent guidelines to reduce the spread and ‘flatten the curve’. 

And as we watch the spread of CoVid-19 and compare it to other countries, we know that the next 10 days to 2 weeks will unveil a new perspective and challenge for us. 

We often use the phrase in disasters: “A normal reaction to an abnormal situation.”  And this pandemic would only mildly be called an abnormal situation.  In times like these the range of ‘normal reactions’ goes from panic, to fear, to grief, to numbness, to overwhelm, to overdrive, to hoarding, to generosity, to creativity, to paralysis.  And the list goes on.  Sometimes you flow from one to another, crossing extremes of emotions, then back again to where you began. Sometimes you feel several all at the same time.  Just know: What You Are Feeling is Normal!  And there is life and light in the midst of this moment and on the other side of it.

So remember to Breathe.

Remember to pause and rest in God: our refuge and strength whose steadfast love endures forever.

Take a walk outside. The crocuses are still blooming. Daffodils are there.  Robins and spring birds have arrived. (Even if snow still falls.) 

Pause, Breathe, Pray, Rest in the presence of God.  Know that you are not alone. 
 
And adapt. 

“Stay Safe, Stay Home” is issued because the prevalence of the virus is increasing and resources are strained.  If you are not in a state that has issued this, you likely will be soon. So listen to the wisdom and strategy of our health care leaders.

Here is our advice.

  • If you are doing online worship we encourage you to do so from home. Gathering in the Sanctuary, even as a small group of leaders, is modeling a behavior we are being asked to discourage. If the sanctuary setting has its calming influence take a photo and use it as a virtual background or an opening screen. 
     
  • Holy Week and Easter are coming.  At the same time, the next two weeks are likely to bring new impact and details on the spread of CoVid-19. This is a good time to think ahead to how you will provide worship, support, encouragement and that deep message of this Holy Season which is so needed and relevant in this pandemic season.  Your Conference is working on resources and support for creative approaches to Holy Week.  Keep an eye on our website www.sneucc.org.
     
  • Stay connected. The initial adrenaline and adaptations to working and being from home will draw thin. There is a weariness and exhaustion that comes from continuing to adapt and update in this constantly changing situation. (See Breathe, Pause, Pray above).  Finding creative ways to keep connected with each other as a community of faith and with our friends and family is crucial.  As is finding times for quiet renewal of our souls.
     
  • Reach out. Churches have always been at the forefront of community care and resilience.  And you are all coming up with and sharing some wonderful and powerful ways that you are doing so. (I encourage you to see the SNEUCC Facebook page and the SNEUCC Leadership Forum Facebook group for conversations, connections and creativity.)  There is also creativity happening within your community. Social media adds a whole new dimension to community support, recovery and resiliency.  Plug in. 
     
  • Securing your Building:  The Presbytery of Southern New England has put together a thoughtful list to secure your building and records.  They have posted it online and on Facebook.  You can find it here:  (From: “A Letter to Congregational Leaders from the Rev. Anne Marie Meyerhoffer, President of the Corporation/Trustees.”)

And did I say it yet:  BREATHE,  PAUSE,  PRAY,  REST IN GOD 

And remember:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
(John 14:27 New Revised Standard Version)
 


Breathe Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash

Author

don-remick-2018.jpg
Don Remick

The Rev. Don Remick is Bridge Conference Minister

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