When I wrote my last letter to you, I did not expect that we would still be here. I did not think we would still be isolating in our homes, and I definitely did not consider that we would not really have any idea when we could gather together again as a community of faith and worship together in our beautiful sanctuary.

Not knowing is hard. Admitting we have no control is hard. Realizing that even though we are doing all that we can, staying at home, wearing face masks in public, washing our hands so many times that they are dry and cracked and painful – that we still don’t know if we will catch the coronavirus, and if we do, whether our case will be mild or severe.

How do you handle the not knowing? How do you handle the day to day in your life right now – in a world where the things that you didn’t even think about have become threats – like grocery shopping – and where the idea of going to a movie or out to dinner or a baseball game seems like a dream?

There is a word for what many of us are feeling, a word that is not usually associated with day to day living. That word is grief. We are grieving the loss of human interaction, the loss of normalcy, the loss of dinners out and gatherings with friends and yes, the loss of the ability to worship with each other and to serve the community around us. For some of us, the losses are more painful and more immediately relevant – perhaps the loss of a job or the ability to support ourselves.

So what can we do?

As anyone who has been through our GriefShare class can tell you, acknowledging that we are grieving can be a first step. It’s ok to be sad or angry or disappointed. It’s ok to cry or to throw up your hands or even to yell (just make sure your neighbors don’t get scared!).

Where is God in all of this? You might be asking that question. And my only answer, after walking my own paths of grief, is that God is right here, in the middle of it all. God is walking with us. God is crying with us. God is holding us in the palm of God’s hand.

In these next weeks, I hope to find more ways to reach out to you and to the neighborhood with signs of hope. I know for me, every time I can make a connection, every time I hear from a friend, it makes me feel a little less afraid and a little more ready to get through another day of this pandemic. If you have ideas, please let me know.

And remember, always, always, and especially now
Fear Not
Dianne

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