In the beginning of his video service, Rev. Neal encourages us to reach out to friends, family, fellow congregants, and loved ones who need to hear from you.
He reminds us that all church events are being suspended, even though this new reality is disappointing, and that we will be communicating with the congregation via Facebook and our email list.
The chalice lighting words are from poet Lynn Ungar, a minister for the Church of the Larger Fellowship, an online congregation for Unitarian Universalists and other religious liberals. He reads her poem, “Pandemic.”
He invites us, again, to reach out to greet one another, as gentle piano music plays in the background, and have a few moments to view the chalice alit.
He reminds us to embrace a stance of gratitude, to take a moment outside of regular time, and to think of all of those in public health — nurses, doctors, custodial staff, and others — who are working to keep our communities safe. He asks us to send loving kindness to all parents and children, all attempting to adjust to our new reality.
He encourages us to seek out, reach out to others. May we be reminded in the weeks and months to come to find the connections that we may not have had opportunity to do before. Though we may not be in proximate physically, we can be proximate in so many other ways.
Singing from “Life is a Riddle and a Mystery,” he begins his sermon. He notes the importance of “flattening the curve” of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, connecting to this moment where we have begun the process of “mapping our future.” Some of the core values that have emerged in initial group meetings include interconnectedness, that we are part of faith in transformation. All of these values apply to this moment in time.
He invites us to think of the ways in which we can remain interconnected, including the opportunity to share your Joys and Sorrows by submitting a form. Also, he reminds us that, if you are in need of pastoral care, please call the church at 517-351-4081 ext. 102 to leave a message on our Pastoral Care Hotline, which is monitored, or e-mail Rev. Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also be rolling out opportunities to connect in small group virtual ministry via Zoom calls.
Let us care for one another now, so we can care for one another in the future.
In the weeks to come, he encourages us, may we reach out to one another, may we be gentle and loving, may we ensure that nobody is alone.
It is our practice to give generously of our time, talents, and money to this church—as we are able and in keeping with its meaning in our lives and impact on the world.
All gifts—large and small—are received with gratitude, for it is together that we are strong enough, wealthy enough and wise enough to make this church—this community— thrive and grow.
This is our dream to fund, our church to support. We pass the virtual basket to receive your pledge payments and any other gifts you are moved to contribute this morning.
We will now gratefully (virtually) accept the offering.