It has been a minute.
This is one of my new favorite phrases. Mostly because of its irony, in that it means the opposite of what it claims. “It’s been a minute” is a phrase connoting a long time — not just sixty seconds.
So, yes. It has been a minute since we have gathered in person (or as I like to say, “in 3D”) as a worshiping community. This Sunday, we will do so.
In March of 2020 (remember back then?), the Board of Trustees chose to close the church “until such time as it is safe to reopen.” At the time, I think we had some common notion of what “safe” meant. In the eighteen months that followed, however, we have observed that safety is conditional, relational, and constantly negotiated.
We — all of us — have been asked to assess our risks of both our own safety and the safety of the larger communities in which we live. We have been asked to be more uncomfortable than we wish. We have been asked to be more patient than we would prefer. We have been asked — not to stop yearning — but perhaps hold our yearnings in new ways.
This Sunday, September 12, you are invited to re-member this congregation and its mission to be a community that invites you to awaken to love. We have a lovely worship service planned, with music performed by string quartet, with ritual and liturgy, and with our beloved Ingathering Water Communion.
Remember to bring a small amount of water to add to the common bowl (we will have water available in case you forget.)
I anticipate many of you will join us on the south lawn of the church. I ask that you are respectful and grace-filled as you come. COVID transmission rates in our area remain very high, and so our safety protocols tend to be a bit more restrictive than some may be used to in your day-to-day life. So if you plan to attend in person, please respect the requests for social distancing, mask-wearing, and vaccination. Please, too, offer your grace to all who arrive and respect their desires for safety.
I also know that there are many who are not yet ready to attend a large gathering or perhaps may not be in the area this weekend. We will be Live-streaming the service as we have been doing, and will endeavor to make that experience as spiritually valuable as in-person worship. I invite you to join us online. You, too, will be able to participate in the water communion — virtually.
As we re-gather this congregation, may we bring our best selves, our most compassionate selves. May we bring our sorrows and fears to this community that will help us hold them. May we bring, too, our joy and delight to this community so we may celebrate this life together.
This Sunday, at 10:00 AM, may we begin again in love.
You are, and may you evermore know yourself to be, invited.