When we light candles for peace with our neighbours, we do so as signs of our openness to learn from one another and our commitment to advocate for this peace that is so long overdue. It is time for peace. It is time for families to be reunited and for those who struggle in poverty to be given access to the necessities to live full, peaceful lives. We have an opportunity to join with Communities of Faith around the world to pray for peace for the peoples of Korea through “A Light of Peace: Online Prayer Vigil for Korea”.
Counting the Days
I don’t know about you but for me it has been 42 days since the church doors where I work have been closed. But who’s counting? Each of us is experiencing this commitment uniquely and yet there are some themes emerging. One of those themes I had been hearing about for a while, but had not hit me until recently, is the theme of tiredness. How is it that I could be feeling so tired when I am staying home?
I used to dream of having a whole week at home to read a novel, watch movies and not have to get in my car to get to another meeting or appointment. So now I’m home, 42 days of being home. And no, I am not reading novels, watching movie marathons or trying to learn new FUN things. I am tired.
April 9, 2020
I wonder when I stopped. I wonder when I stopped saying “goodbye”. About a week ago I noticed that at the end of phone calls or physically distant conversations with neighbours and grocery clerks, I was no longer saying “goodbye”. I wonder when I stopped saying “goodbye” and instead started saying “be safe”.
I carry with me the memory of experiencing the 1989 Loma Prieda earthquake in Marin County California. I had moved there to do Doctor of Ministry studies. One day as I sat with a small group of people in my professor’s office, I had a peculiar, uncomfortable feeling and within seconds of the onset of that feeling, the building shook. The initial hit was bad enough but then the rolling started. I swear to this day that I heard the stones in the outer walls grind together.
Who would have imagined even a few months ago that we would be in this situation? No in-person meetings or gatherings, no hugging, restaurants closed, self-isolation, mad dashes for groceries, line-ups at the drug store, hospitals awaiting an onslaught of sick people and our physical separation from loved ones. And who would have imagined the extraordinary expressions of generosity and creativity!? Windows covered with the breathtaking artworks of children, neighbours leaving gifts of groceries and notes at their neighbours’ doors and they may not even know their neighbours well! Phone calls just to check in, thousands of people at the same time everyday standing on city balconies clapping in gratitude for our first responders and medical personnel. Communities of Faith kindly reaching across boundaries to support one another with resources. Oh yes, and meeting after meeting after meeting via video-conference …
As we learn to live with the circumstances created by COVID-19, the Regional Executive and Staff are searching for ways to relieve the profound stresses on Communities of Faith and leaders. I am awed by you all and how you are exercising meaningful and safe ways of staying connected through online and printed worship resources as well as phone calls to those who feel loved and cared for in hearing a kind voice. Someone said to me today, “I’m loving the phone calls! People are being so kind.” The Regional Executive members join me in being deeply grateful to our Regional Executive Minister and all our staff for their work in continuing to support and care for us all especially in these trying days. The Executive met by video conference on Friday to discuss issues raised at the first online Townhall video conference, emergency financial support for Communities of Faith, and the 2020 General Meeting. The results are as follows:
Friends, The Pacific Mountain Regional Council Executive is at work! We had our first meeting in September, and we are meeting again this week. We …