Thoughts from your Regional Minister
By Steve Martin
I know we are all struggling with the harsh realities of our world. No one could have predicted the wide-spreading effects of the COVID-19 virus. Every facet of our lives has been touched and we frequently cry out, “When this is over….”
Unfortunately, it may not be over. I have heard several experts in epidemiology who are predicting that, even with the hoped-for vaccine, the virus will still be present. They are suggesting we need to begin to think about living with its presence in everyday life. That sounds like a tall order.
Perhaps you have thought about how life is different for you because of the presence of COVID-19. I have been in on a few conversations and I think it is helpful. Many of us recognize that the priorities of our life are more clearly seen. At our home, we are eating better and pay more attention to foods which are more beneficial to us. We eat far less fast food, and we have experimented with foods which we otherwise would not have included in our diet.
My heart aches for those who are suffering in this time. While reports of COVID-19 in our congregations are relatively few, I can only imagine the anxiety and struggle which victims of the virus experience. I also hurt for our schools – for students, parents and teachers. Adjustments to the typical school day are numerous and these are cause for a great deal of anxiety and pressure for all involved. For me, asking a 5-year old to spend four hours in front of a computer screen and calling it Kindergarten simply feels wrong!
Congregations have made many adaptations, and these are filling a need. In the region, we have learned to rely on Zoom for meetings and other ways to connect with people, and these too are working. The canceling of our 2020 camp program has been the source of great disappointment. Just as schools have learned to adapt, the camp program will do the same! Next year there will be camps. We are working on a schedule and are planning to keep camps much smaller than in the past.
I am sure you have your own list of regrets in the face of our chaotic world. No matter what our list looks like, and no matter how much we would love to see the virus stricken from our world, we learn again the age-old truth, “we are not in control.” This remains God’s world, and our response is to be faithful in our work to bring God’s love and peace into each situation.