After all the ups and downs of the last 16 months, we have reached a milestone in the pandemic. Last Sunday it was a joy to see many congregation members who were worshipping in person for the first time since March 2020. This is an important step forward, and the spirit of community and openness was wonderful to see. It was good to be able to socialize with each other again.
In the midst of this happiness, there have also been mixed emotions this week, as I have talked with and visited some of the many members of our congregation who have experienced loss and grief in recent weeks. Throughout the pandemic our inability to grieve together has been hard to bear. This is apparent again this week as we hold the van den Heever family in our prayers as they mourn the loss of Rika’s father and the worries for other family members struggling with Covid-19. The uncertainty surrounding travel, and the weight of this is heavy. It is a stark reminder that while our province and country are working our way to health and openness, this is not a reality for many nations.
Even as we recognize the disparity that is occurring in our world, we are thankful for our significant easing of restrictions caused by the widespread availability of vaccines, and we continue to move forward in faith. As Darren spoke of on Sunday, the Working Beyond Covid group is using July and August to informally start programs and to focus on spending time together in community. But to do this, we need the help of the congregation. We are asking for volunteers in a variety of capacities. Some of these are ideal for individuals, or for 2-3 families to participate in for a week. Specifically, we need the following.
- Greeters for Sunday morning service. We are not shaking hands just yet, but a friendly good morning is a great way to start worship for members and visitors alike. (contact Maureen email@example.com)
- People to serve coffee after church. (contact Maureen firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Faithwalk leaders and helpers. Material is provided. (contact Alisha Jefferson)
- Nursery leaders and helpers. (contact Megan Sinke)
- Day camp volunteers from July 19-23. Various positions and opportunities for individuals or groups. Time frames from 1-4 hours. (contact Pastor Lisa email@example.com)
- Participants/volunteers for the potluck lunch July 18 after the worship service. (contact Kevin Visscher)
If you can help with any of these opportunities, please contact the individual listed, and they will be happy to assist you.
Psalms are a favored summertime devotion for me, and the words of Psalm 145 verses 3-5 and 8-10 seemed appropriate for this week: “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of our mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty- and I will mediate on your wonderful works…..The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All your works praise you Lord, your faithful people extol you.” As we continue in this summer vacation season, my prayer is that we will all find time to rest and be recharged. May we find peace and strength in spending time with family and friends in the glory and beauty of creation.