News of the Church, 9/11/20

Good Day to you, Church family!

Fall has landed, hasn’t it? Were you as chilly as I was this morning? What a rude awakening these cooler temperatures have been the last couple of days. I’m sure we will see some warmer days again in September, but I pulled out all of my winter wear and swapped it out for my summer things yesterday. It’s back to long sleeves and sweaters for this lady!

If you haven’t spent much time in town recently, you might like to know that the renovation project to Snell Hall (across the street from the church) is coming along nicely. I’m sitting in my office as I write this, typing to the rhythmic pounding of jack hammers. It will be exciting to see what they turn that space into, won’t it? 

Before I jump into all of the going’s on, I wanted to give a big shout out to those of you who have come to work on the church grounds all summer long. Thank you Gail Schaberg, Brian and Robin Wilkinson, Neil Johnson, Charlene Speiler, Beth Grace, Dave Wells, and Bob and Sharon PIckard! (Did I miss anybody? If so, please let me know!) It’s such a wonderful gift to come to the church each week and see what new things are blooming. Right now the pink flox are out, with their intoxicating fragrance. 

Now for the news! If you hadn’t heard, our History of the Anti-Slavery Society and the Underground Railroad in St. Lawrence County event did not end up taking place yesterday. The weather was not good enough to be outside, and we had a communication problem that resulted in needing to postpone. Thankfully, we will have a chance to make it happen this coming Thursday, the 17th, at 7pm. If it’s good weather, plan to come with your mask, your lawn chair, and a jacket. If it’s too cold or it’s rainy, we will broadcast the event from the fellowship hall and ask everyone to stay home and watch from the comfort of your own home. 

Anytime we try new things (as COVID is prompting us to do hither and yon’), sometimes it can take a couple of tries to get all of the kinks worked out. I appreciate you having patience and riding loose in the saddle while we practice at having outdoor events. 

Speaking of which, Sunday the 20th, at noon, we will again host in-person coffee hour on the lawn–or, at least we will attempt to host coffee hour on the lawn! If the weather does not permit, we will just wait and try again next month. It is my hope and prayer that our COVID numbers continue to stay low enough that we can attempt to return to the building before Christmas, to be able to see each other again on a more regular basis. We will have to wait and see how the next 4-6 weeks play out, however, now that all the schools are back up and running. 

Dear Hearts, if you have students in your life, or if you are a teacher, you will know what an exhausting week this has been. Are you feeling as spent as I am? There are so many changes to deal with! And new protocols to follow! And new schedules to acclimate to! And I’m only saying this as a parent trying to wade these waters… My mother sometimes comments that she feels like a wilted box of vegetables. Is that how you feel, too? If so, what will you do to care for yourself this week? And if you still have some spring in your step, what can you do to support those around you who have wilted some?

Even if you haven’t been deflated from the return to school, all you have to do is turn on the TV to feel like the end of the world is upon us. Between remembering 9/11, the pandemic, fires out west, our nation’s racial pain and the call for social justice out in the streets, and the upcoming election…. do you just want to stay under the covers and hide in bed all day? If so, please know that you are not alone. 

This is hard… what we are doing right now is hard. And it is scary. And it is OK to acknowledge that. If you need to let yourself have a good cry, or sneak a cigar out in the garage– or whatever it is that opens your emotional release valve, give yourself permission to let it out. 

And then listen to Jesus as he speaks these words to us–

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

(Matthew 11:28-29) 

You have permission to turn your burdens and your heavy loads over. You don’t have to carry the weight of them around with you, if you don’t want to. Jesus offers us rest for our weary souls. 

And so, let us pray together–

God, you promise your care and your comfort to us on the hard days. Please take this load, and help us to carry it. We cannot do this alone. We cannot walk this road without you. Be near to us now, as we draw near to you. Give us strength, courage, and wisdom, we pray. Amen. 

May God bless you even today,
Pastor Katrina