Message from Jon – October 2020
Dear Members and Friends:
How are you coping with the many challenges we are facing today? Have you found something that helps you maintain your balance?
As a child I had a special bond with one of my great-grandfathers. Largely self-taught and widely read, he had to leave school to support his mother and younger siblings after his father was killed in a train accident. Kindly so, he lost no opportunity to impart some wisdom to the younger generations. As a young teen, while my eyes would often search the ceiling when hearing such maxims, I am surprised at how many of his proverbs I still remember.
One of the proverbs he recited often may be familiar to some of you (in one of its many variations). It is: hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and take what comes. The first part of the proverb is traceable at least as far back as Cicero. Many other people over the ensuing centuries have added their spin to the last two phrases.
My great-grandfather used to say that the hardest part to practice in this proverb is the last phrase, take what comes. And this, no doubt, was grounded in his own personal experience. Many times we have little choice in having to deal with what life brings us. But he would remind me, and himself, that what this required was not passive acceptance nor denial of what is but rather constructive engagement with ‘what comes’.
So, how are you coping with the many challenges you are facing today?
I continue to be hopeful that the long nightmare we have been in these last several years will end soon. Much work will be needed to restore cherished practices and institutions. And, then again, the nightmare could worsen. We would then need to focus, and mobilize, and support each other for a longer period of reconstruction. I sincerely hope that we will find that capacity in each other, if such be our charge.
We have been closely monitoring the ongoing development of the pandemic and its repercussions for church life. Now that it has been confirmed that small group gatherings in enclosed spaces, even with all safety precautions taken, is a major transmitting venue for the spread of the virus, we have decided to keep the building closed until after the December holidays. Gatherings outside in the parking lot, the patio and sidewalks are fine when observing all safety precautions. If you would like to schedule such a gathering, please be in touch with Jessica Monahan in the church office. We will continue to livestream Sunday morning worship services and share the midweek Vespers Service via Zoom. Just about every staff member continues to work from home. And yes, WE MISS YOU!
Our current challenges will change in time. Meanwhile, let us continue to hope for a better footing, prepare for challenges that may upset us, and be resilient and creative and playful enough to meet each day.
Rev. Jon M. Luopa