News for the Church, 12/11/20

Hello Dear Hearts,

How are you faring today? We finally had a few spots of blue sky earlier. Did you see them? I hope so!

This week the pandemic hit close to home for me and life has been topsy-turvied. Today I am writing to you from my bedroom. This last week I started tutoring students at Little River Community School (as my other part time job), and one of them tested positive for COVID on Wednesday. So I have been sent into quarantine for 14 days.

The good news is that I feel well (thus far) and I get to come out on the 23rd– before Christmas! The hard news is that I’m learning what it’s like to live in isolation. I have people bringing me hot food each night and I have a little fridge and a microwave in my room with me, so I am eating well, but other than that, I have to stay away from people.

Thankfully, I am still able to sit outside if it’s warm enough. Today I was overjoyed to get to be outside and see that little bit of sunshine! It’s funny. You would think that being stuck in a small room would make you feel overrun with energy, but I’m experiencing the opposite. This is absolutely exhausting! LoL!

I have just a couple of things to tell you about today.

The work has been finished on the east entrance to the Center– Trillium’s entrance! The door had not been shutting or latching properly, ice was building up right in front of the door making it dangerous to enter, and the entrance was not handicap accessible. Both C&C Construction and Northern Seamless Gutters came and worked their magic hands and things look great. We’re very grateful for these contractors (including Pat Rhoda’s son Patrick!). They went out of their way to get the work done before snow flies, even though they both have a backlog of jobs to do right now.

While things were getting fixed at that end of the building, things at the other end were falling apart this last week. They say that when things happen, it often happens in 3’s and that’s exactly what happened in the basement under the sanctuary and the Head Start classrooms. In the course of 6 days one of the circulation pumps (that keeps the heat circulating) died and went to heaven, the sewer system backed up, and the sump pump died a soggy death and is now stranded somewhere in quarantine on the way to sump pump heaven.

If you happen to run across Ron, our sexton, congratulate him on his new title. He has risen to every wet, fetid task laid before him down cellar this week and he has been deemed fit for promotion. You may now refer to him as Bishop of the Basement!

This coming week the Shabergs will be heading south and we wish them God-speed and good health for this winter. Do you know of anyone else migrating south in the next few weeks? If so, please do let me know so that we can be praying for them! (I still don’t yet know you well enough to be aware of such things.)

Related to all of this, JoAnne and Dick Partch asked me to send along this message–

“Members, Families and Friends.

We have not been patrons of the Zoom church sessions coffee hours but that does not mean that we have not always had all of you in mind. Yes we have.

So, now is the time of year that our “snow birds” venture south for several months and we pray that your journey will be comfortable and safe. We plan on going to our annual time share unit on Hilton Head the first two week of March.

There are many times over many years that each of us has declared, maybe silently, “why do we live in NNY ! ! ??” There are no skyscrapers, no noisy metro airports, no Disney meccas for personal and social enjoyment, etc. etc. etc. Thank God. We wouldn’t remain here if we didn’t feel that NNY does have attributes like friendly neighbors, trees, rivers and lakes and for this year a rural living area not so scary during the pandemic.

Please accept our best wishes for the season and into 2021. Let’s all thank God for Jesus’s birth and life and risen tidings for all we have and enjoy.

Love to you all.
JoAnne and Richard Partch

Dear Ones, this has been a rough week for many of us– all related in some way, shape, or form to the pandemic. Please, please be praying for each other. Pray in the way that Pope Francis is talking about when he states, “You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. This is how prayer works.” Prayer is as much a verb, as it is a wish for someone. 

I will now leave you off with a poem I wrote a number of years ago when my world was crashing in around me on every level and I could barely stay above the roaring waves. It is written in the style of the Sufi poets.

It’s the absurdity of it all—
of the upside-downness
to be exact—

which hides in plain sight the plumpest rubies
from The Cuff Links and The Loud Ones.

Don’t you know, O dear One?

Yes, you! 
The one who laughs bitterly to spite her tears 
when renter’s insurance is required.
(How exactly will they price bare cupboards, sorrow, and empty pockets?)

Don’t you know the Ocean’s love pours into the deepest cracks first,
as water seeks to find its own level?

Do you think it an accident
that angels sing to shepherds?
That a woman cradled the Counselor?

Empty pockets
are the first to bloom in the fullness of the sun’s tender light.
And sorrow leaps to its feet
before joy has even had time to blink,
when the band begins to play.

May you know the effects of prayer this week, 
Pastor Katrina