Greetings from your Pastor and our family, which just returned home from an unexpected trip to the breathtaking Grand Canyon. My husband Regis had a mission-critical certification in Las Vegas this past Monday-Tuesday, and we didn't want to split up the family in the face of COVID-19. So with my mother Vikki and our kids, we set out driving last Saturday. The few nights away and the long drive home past man-made (Hoover Dam) and natural wonders, gave us a chance to experience the current crisis through an outsider's eyes (even if mine are closed above). We, like Jesus the refugee, were warmly welcomed, fed and cared for. But it is good to be home! I look forward to worshiping with you - even virtually - this Sunday (details below)!
It is an honor and a pleasure to reach out and "touch" base with you, especially during these difficult days. The whole world is being drawn closer together in the experience of shared uncertainty and suffering, even as we are encouraged to stay at least 6 feet apart. Have you heard about the Italians singing to one another from their balconies? Have your hands ever been so clean (or so dry)? What a small price to pay for the daily opportunity to see God at work among us! Years ago, my friend Christine Holbaum wrote a book called The Power of Slow. She encouraged modern humanity to embrace a mentality of slowing down in all our affairs and activities. cultivating life as human beings, not just human doings. Through her secular work, though, I caught glimpses of our Christian desert fathers and mothers, and this global pandemic is an invitation to return to those roots of our faith. More on this on Sunday.... but for now, cling to these words (from Jamie Tworkwoski):
Conversations will not be cancelled.
Relationships will not be cancelled.
Love will not be cancelled.
Songs will not be cancelled.
Reading will not be cancelled.
Self-care will not be cancelled.
Hope will not be cancelled.
May we lean into the good stuff that remains.
And I would add:
Prayer will not be cancelled, only deepened.
Worship will not be cancelled, only transformed.
Communities of care will not be cancelled, only strengthened.
Disaster brings out the best and worst in people, so let's choose the BEST: call or write to someone you miss or who crosses your mind. Deliver groceries (or toliet paper!) to someone who is sheltering / self-quarantining at home. Donate blood (there is a shortage but the CDC assures us that blood donation is completely SAFE and encouraged). Remember that the church is not a building, but the people, and our church staff continues to work.To do so, we need and encourage your financial support. Please mail in your check (503 Walnut Street, Windsor 80550), set up automatic payments through your bank, or try online giving (just click these words to be sent to our church website's Donate Now page).
If you can get online (or ask someone to help you), why not meet us on Sunday morning at 10:30 on Facebook for a live-streamed worship service from our sanctuary? (co-created by less than 10 people😉). Just click these words to be taken to our Facebook page, where the live video will be broadcast. You can even set up a Watch Party and invite your friends and family to join you in worship.
Next week I will be inviting you all to a weekly check-in via Zoom, a videoconferencing tool that can be accessed from a computer, smartphone, or even dial-up/ home phone. It is a way for you to SEE one another, and share prayer concerns and updates. In the meantime, please send me your prayer concerns and I will share them. I will be inviting our Leadership Team to use Zoom for virtual meetings, but it is also available for small groups, Bible studies and gatherings of less than 100 people. If you'd like access for one of your own social groups not currently meeting face-to-face, just let me know.
If those last few sentences sounded like a foreign language to you, give me a call at 720-445-1905. I'll be in Windsor on Tuesday (working at the Food Pantry), and I can come by your home and help you set everything up (as long as you have a computer or phone with Internet access). I am also delighted to visit anyone who would appreciate a check-in, just let me know.
Peace be with you, my friends! God's peace I send to us all in these unsettling times...