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Connecting in the Time of COVID

Like many of you, I think that I am ready for COVID to be over. I am ready to put an end to this social distancing. Not to just go outside, but to go outside without the worry of wearing a mask, or if that person next to me coughing will be “the one” that gets me. But, alas, we are nowhere near that time to let down our guard. We are not nearing a time when we can remove our masks and see the faces of the people around us.

And the question remains, how do we connect in what seems to be an ongoing social distant reality?

We could disregard the safety protocols…

though such a disregard would negate our call to care for those around us.

We could close the front door to our home, lock it, and wait…

but the need for interaction is still there.

We could continue Zoom and FaceTime and phone calls…

though one more Zoom dinner party makes me cringe with an exhausted anxiety to just get away from the computer.

Phone calls are nice - social distance visits are nice

But what more can be done?

August 2nd was the target date to begin in person gatherings and it appears that it has now been pushed to after Labor Day. A prudent move with the current situation of COVID cases in Delaware.

Even if we were to meet in August, we would do so without coffee hour.

We can continue with our Sunday coffee hour. The group is a nice size on Zoom, but it can always accommodate more people. Currently we are studying portions of the Sunday scripture, but we can also look at other activities. Did you know that Zoom can break participants apart in other ‘rooms’ so that we can have a coffee hour where some folks can study scripture and others can have a conversation about a book, or the sermon, or even just chat? The plan is to continue with an 11:30 Zoom coffee hour even after we begin public gatherings.

Carol Landry is still leading a book group on Thursdays once a month. You can always find information about that group in the Courier.

Every Thursday night Oksana hosts a singalong. It’s great! We get to hear Jess sing. No pressure since we are muted so you can sing your heart out and no one will hear.

Last night we had a wonderful multi-church gathering around a book. Over a month ago the congregation asked that we offer more opportunities to talk about racism and learn how we can be part of the work in marching towards a world with less racism. We discussed I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, and I will be making an announcement soon for at least two more events.

Along with Pacem in Terris, St. Stephen’s hosted a two-part climate conversation. This summer we will visit once again the season of creation - looking at Bible stories about the world around us. There is a push to form a Green Team at the church, perhaps we can begin this process sooner than later.

Staying connected with friends and family can be as simple as picking up the phone. Sometimes it will require you to make the first move. What ways have you been trying to stay connected?

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Jason


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