Dear Church Community,
The world looks different than I expected after my month away! I assumed the downward Covid trajectory would continue and that those of us who are vaccinated would be both protected from the virus and protective of children and other vulnerable populations who are not. I thought we’d be gathering in person for our midyear meeting this month and that we’d resume choir rehearsals at the end of the month. My expectations were high, and they haven’t been met.
How do I feel about this? Well, I dislike it when the world doesn’t meet my expectations. I like making plans and being able to stick to them. I like certainty. But, even when we wish things to be a certain way, pray hard for a specific outcome, reality is so often different from our desires. Surprise, we’re not in control!
I’m sure we all have different ways of coping with this. But, whatever our coping strategies, we get a lot of practice. So, as we look toward another unpredictable fall, I encourage us to practice loving the questions. As the poet Rilke wrote in Letters to a Young Poet, “Be patient toward all this is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.” Why? Because so much of life is a question mark, and so many questions are unsolved. Thus, learning to live in the space between question and answer, opening ourselves to a wide range of possibility, and leaning into whatever we’re meant to learn from the process is fully living life itself.
I don’t know what’s going to happen this fall. But I do know that whatever happens, we’re on this journey together. Whatever happens, we’ll gather for worship, meditation, bible study, social action, conversation, confirmation, and all the other programs and activities that make our congregation the vibrant community we are— both on and offline. We’ll continue to support one another. And we’ll continue to nurture love of God and neighbor in the world.
The Leadership Team will meet early next week to talk about fall plans, and the Council will meet the following Sunday, 8/15, to discuss the team’s recommendations. We’ll update everyone on our “reopening” schedule within the next ten days. In the meanwhile, please note that masks are again required for anyone inside our church building.
I pray the trajectory of Delta in the DC area trends down and the trajectory of Covid worldwide flattens and slows. May all people, everywhere, have access to vaccinations and all people, everywhere, make choices that protect and preserve both the public health and the common good.
I look forward to seeing you soon,
P.S. Last year’s July Preaching Fellow, Stephanie Dorsey, will preach this Sunday, 8/8. I know many of you will be happy for this chance to reconnect with and hear her once again. I’m incredibly grateful to all who made it possible for me to take a break over the month of July- THANK YOU!