Annie is receiving her second vaccination for COVID-19 as I write this letter. Many folks have gotten their appointment for the first shot while others are in process. Slowly, surely the world is turning and changing before our very eyes. Even though our vaccination gives us immunity from the most serious impact of the virus, we can still have, carry and spread COVID-19 to others so we have to continue to maintain vigilance. As we look up from the long haul of almost an entire year of struggle, we recognize that there has been a devastating impact on our world. Friends, neighbors and family members have died and we have yet to mourn their loss or celebrate their lives. Businesses have closed permanently. Jobs have been lost. Many are suffering from isolation, struggling with anxiety, worry, and depression. It will be our task as the people of God to recognize the loss and bring comfort and consolation to those who are hurting. Surely there will come a time for rejoicing and dancing… but for right now, may we be mindful of the suffering that the Pandemic has wrought among us and be sensitive to others.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Traditionally, Christians have used the forty days that stretch before us until Easter to remember the sorrow and suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ as he journeyed from his works of ministry (healing, teaching, feeding) to his work of self-giving/suffering and resurrection. May these be days of quiet reflection on our part, to take account of the suffering that goes on around us, to remember, empathize and pray for the sake of others as well as ourselves and the world.
Rev. Jeanie Collins has compiled a Lenten Devotional for our use during these forty days. It will be available electronically and in paper edition through the office. The Upper Room and These Days are also available at your request. Just call the office at (609) 266-7942!
Thanks to everyone who attended our Annual Congregational Meeting via Zoom last Sunday. Congratulations to Paul Robinson and Rose Haefele who will be ordained as Elders and to Ree Leeds who will be ordained as a Deacon. Thanks too, to all who were elected to serve!