April 2020

Lisa, Jessica and I were relieved and happy to learn that, at least for now, workers in religious organizations are NOT “non-essential.” You might have been taught never to use double negatives – but this is a happy exception. They are doing an extraordinary job. We are all grateful to be able to keep the fires burning here at 220 Main Street, and to support the efforts to connect and care for one another.

What has touched your heart, since we have gone under siege?

My mother is in a nursing home in Leeds. When I call her, she doesn’t remember about the virus, doesn’t seem to realize how long it has been since I have seen her, or to know that no one else has had visitors either. That is a mixed blessing.

I got the ok to go over to the facility and stand near the glass door to the common area where she spends her day. From there I called and spoke with her by phone. It touched me to see the staff treating her and other residents with their usual good humor and kindness, and to see that she is getting moments of touch. It was good for me to see her.

I’m not sure it was good for her to see me. She was happy to see me, but then she was confused. My standing outside on the patio baffled her. She didn’t understand why no one would let me in. I left with sadness – for her vulnerability, for all she has lost.

And so it is with many of us. We have moments of joy and gratitude, and moments of sadness, anxiety and fear. We have a long way to go before this siege is over. Please continue to reach out to one another. Hearing a friendly voice can help.

I have spoken with quite a few of you over the past several weeks, sometimes with a specific purpose, sometimes just to say hello. Recently I spoke with someone who remarked on how many people are making connections, showing care and concern and compassion for one another. It’s heartening, we agreed. As are the trees beginning to bud, the lawns and beds abloom with crocus and scilla, the southern-facing stretches where daffodils are beginning to appear.

May spring bring you solace and moments of delight. May you do all you can to stay well. We are learning that we can be together in spirit while we look forward to seeing each other face to face, when that day comes.

I am ever grateful and blessed to be your minister.Janets signature