How do we navigate church life in these times?

By Steven Huprich, Senior Warden

We live in unprecedented times.  I hope that you are staying healthy and moving through this period with grace, patience, and support. It is a time like no other, and the requirements for us to adapt are substantial.  I am grateful to friends and family who have been virtually present in this time.  Hopefully, you are reaching out and staying engaged with others.

I wanted to write this piece for the congregation for a few reasons.

First, I want you to know that the senior lay leadership has remained in regular contact with Father Bill during this time, and he with us.  Father Bill, Pastor Manisha, Father Chris, and the entire church staff have been truly amazing and inspiring.  They have taken many efforts to keep us all connected through various programming and online opportunities.  They have sought out our input during this time but have also moved through this crisis with diligence and dedication to all of us and to our parish.  While we may be physically absent from each other, I can assure you that they have been active and committed to keeping us all connected.

Second, and related to the first point, I wanted to publicly recognize our clergy and staff for what they are doing.  Many churches have moved toward offering online Sunday services, but I have seen few other parishes that have done as much as we have been doing to keep us all in relationship with each other and with God.  We are blessed with wonderful leadership, and I personally am extremely grateful for all they are doing.  I hope you will find your own way to share your appreciation.

As we move through this period, there is an “Easter” coming with regard to the coronavirus.  It is not going to be April 12, but it will come.  We will return to more regular ways of relating and being with each other.  And in that time, I suspect there will be great joy and appreciation for who we are and what we have.  We know that our seasons of life require us to go through some form of suffering or distress, which requires from us a greater enactment of our hope and faith.  But then, our Easter comes, and it will come!  For now, please remain diligent in your service and faith.  In fact, as our life’s velocity changes, we might look at this period as a chance to look ahead and find what it is in our life that we want to change, through creativity or circumspection.  But it also could be a wonderful time of embracing our gratitude.  As always, I am grateful for all of you and all you are doing.

I look forward to our return to normalcy, but for now am continuing to weather this storm with you.  Let’s hold each other and those affected physically and financially by this pandemic in our prayers, with the assurance of God’s presence with us during times that seem bleak.

As the gospel song goes, “Keep your lamps, trimmed and burning.  The time is drawing nigh.”  Our Easter will come.