Follow this link to a beautiful reading of this poem:

“And the people stayed home.
And read books, and listened, and rested,
and exercised, and made art, and played games,
and learned new ways of being,
and were still.

And listened more deeply.
Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.
Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant,
dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways,
the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed,
and the people joined again,
they grieved their losses,
and made new choices,
and dreamed new images,
and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully,
as they had been healed.”

                          – Kitty O’Meara

Hello Dear Friends,

You may have already seen this poem that was written in one sitting by palliative care chaplain Kitty O’Meara. It’s making its way around the web and being picked up everywhere. It must hit a soft place in many of us, perhaps because we may wonder if we will be changed forever by this time out of time. Or because, even in our worry and our waiting, we begin to notice the illuminated places within us and our environment. 

Seeing the light within the dark and projecting forward to a brighter day doesn’t mean we deny the difficulty we are in now. In fact, we acknowledge our mourning for much of what we’ve lost recently including our freedom of movement. We mourn our physical separations, postponed school, graduations, vacations, and family visits. We mourn not being able to hug or even visit the older people we love.  

And yet, as expressed in this poem, there is beauty arising. And eventually, healing. 

What are the consolations or learnings springing from this time, even as we naturally worry and wait? What new illuminations do you see in this set-apart time? What are your dreams for the future, even as we wait?

May you know God’s calm and comfort always.

My love to you all,

Rev. Jan Reynolds

This week, please join Pastor Jan at one of these Zoom meeting opportunities… just before the appointed time, just click on the zoom link click permission for video/audio. 

Group check-in – Tomorrow! Thursday morning at 11:00 am
Depending on how many of us show up, we’ll have a chance to pray, share, and have a discussion on a timely spiritual topic.  CLICK HERE

Graceful Aging Group for Women – Thursday at 3:00 pm 
Please let Jan or the office know if you need the link.

Bible Passage Reflection – Friday Morning at 11:00 am CLICK HERE

Sunday Virtual Coffee Hour! 11:00 am
Join in our virtual worship service and then click into the “Zoom Room.” See all the faces you miss seeing at worship! This may be a bit chaotic, but it will also be fun. Have the kids join us too! 
Look for the link in Sunday’s service that will come via email.

And in the meantime, for your spiritual sustenance…

Contemplative Christian Guided Morning Prayer CLICK HERE

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir – ‘Lux Aurumque’
A gorgeous virtual musical piece performed by 185 people CLICK HERE

This article on togetherness in small spaces is for anyone cohabitating…not just marriages!

Notice the Good

If you’re currently holed up with your partner or family, you may start to notice things a little bit more.

Everything is amplified in close quarters—their quirks and habits, the things they do that are helpful, and the things they do that might drive you a little batty.

In a Newsweek article, David Cates Ph.D., says, “Being together in a small space for a much longer period than usual under stressful conditions means more opportunities to amplify both positive and negative dynamics.”

“My guess is that relationships with a strong foundation will survive and may even flourish, whereas those characterized by poor negotiation skills, destructive communication and lack of appreciation are more likely to buckle under the stress.”

Make sure you’re paying attention to the things they’re doing right and the little things that make life easier or more pleasant for you, in addition to things that might annoy you. Fondness and appreciation are the bedrock of lasting love. Don’t forget to notice the good things!

“So, to survive and thrive during quarantine, families should look for opportunities to show interest, find areas of agreement, express affection and appreciation and demonstrate empathy. And they need to do this during times of conflict. They should also recognize that worry, fear, stress and guilt are expected and normal reactions during quarantine and not criticize one another for expressing these feelings.”

Be kind to each other during this time. Slow down and be compassionate.