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Thank You - from a Distance

I think that we are getting this social distancing thing down pretty well - I know that I do not have any issues with calling out perfect strangers for coming closer than six feet from me when I am in the store getting groceries. Online and call-in church is going well - my Zoom calendar looks worse than my typical Google calendar. Things in the neighborhood seem to be relatively quiet (save those few that wish to ignore the order to stay home and thus place so many lives in danger).

But what about those that are on the frontlines of this crisis where social distancing is much more difficult/impossible?

We expect to see police officers, firefighters, paramedics/EMTs and first responders on the streets and on the many scenes. They, nonetheless, are in new and dangerous territory. One of Wilmington’s officers is reported to have tested positive for COVID-19.

Our medical professionals, the doctors, and nurses are seen. The cleaning crews, administrators, and all the behind the scenes folks are not readily seen...but they are in as much danger as others. Members of Christiana Care Hospitals have tested positive for COVID-19.

To many, those folks are heroes.

But what about those that have never imagined that they would be considered a hero? Yet, because of situations out of their control, they are the ones that are keeping things moving.

Gas station attendants, grocery store workers, pharmacy techs, food pantry volunteers, and staff members of essential agencies that keep people fed, housed, and safe.

They too are heroes...amongst countless others.

How do we thank all of these people? How do we, those that are kept comfortable and safe, thank those that are in the midst of it all?

Clap at 8. Read the Washington Post story here and the Seattle Art Beat blog here to learn more.

It’s happening from Britain, Spain, and Italy all the way to Seattle. At 8 pm people go out on their porches, balconies, open their windows or stand in their yard and clap and cheer for 2 minutes as a way to say thank you to those working when the rest of us are safely at home. It is a small gesture, but one that I think we need to come together and make. Please share this invitation with your neighbors (if you have a neighborhood association or condo association that is a great place to start). Share it on social media, through phone calls, emails, or however you can spread the message.

As for us, we are going to use the social media outlets at St. Stephen’s to share this...but it will only work if we all commit to trying to make this a special occurrence every evening at 8 pm. Please record yourselves...take photos...if #FlatSteve makes an appearance all the better...and post them to the church’s FB or Instagram pages and tag them #StStephELC and #clapat8forourheros

Let’s all make some noise as a way of thanking those that are doing so much for all of us!

In peace,

Pr. Jason

Invitation (just copy and paste):

Please join St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Wilmington Delaware and countless others across the world for Clap at 8 for Our Heroes. At 8:00 PM your local time you are invited to open your windows, step onto your porch/balconies, or go into your yards and clap...cheer...make noise...bang pots...sing...all as a way to thank those that are on the front lines from doctors and nurses to grocery store employees and first responders. Share this and your clap at 8 videos on social media. Use #StStephELC and #clapat8forourheros


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