Musings, On Difficult Decisions and Avoiding the Ditch...
Well, this morning as I write this there is another ‘snow day’ in our household. Just before 6:10AM, Chignecto Central Regional Centre for Education announced that all schools in Cumberland County were closed. I fully expect that the fact that one of its buses ended up in the ditch on Friday influenced the promptness of this morning’s decision.
On Sunday morning, the Co-Chairs of the Executive and I made the decision to cancel our Sunday Gathering. Such decisions are not made easily or lightly, and I am empathetic to those faced with such decisions for even larger organizations.
At our Lectionary Study Group on Tuesday of last week, as we talked about the reading that we would have heard yesterday, we circled around to how important it is to gather on Sunday – and how for some, being in Church on Sunday is the only encounter they have with other people. This reality was considered in our decision making. We also considered the physical health and safety of the community. Our community is made up of a significant number of seniors who are deeply committed to the Church. Coming to Church is a priority for them and it seemed wise to take the option of attending off the table. It was encouraging to see the various comments on social media commending the decision. Thank you.
As the decision to cancel the Sunday Gathering circulated, there were a couple inquiries as to the possibility of Jennie and I offering leadership in a Sunday Gathering from home via Facebook Live? Jennie and I have done this in the past – when it was scheduled and planned in advance. It is no small feat to pivot on a Sunday morning, from facilitating a gathering in-person that is streamed on Facebook Live, to two people in two different locations, using two different software platforms to facilitate an on-line gathering. In addition, there is the reality that we share our personal space with other people whose routines would be affected should we be making music, preaching, singing, and praying out loud in front of our computers on a Sunday morning!
In closing, in a world where you can be anything… be kind and remember that those who are making difficult decisions, in the best interests of as many as possible, and are doing the best they can!
Today I will work from home. My truck has already been in the body shop once this year as a result of a hit-and-run in the Walmart parking lot… I see no need in risking a second visit by going out on roads that are by all accounts like skating rinks! Reading, writing and sending emails, planning for Lent and preparing for an upcoming training event will fill the day. If the roads are fit later this afternoon I will venture to the hospital for visits.
Tuesday will see me in the office for meetings in the morning followed by the Lectionary Study Group at 10:30AM. We’ll be looking at the texts for the Third Sunday after Epiphany (Isaiah 9:1-4, Psalm 27:1, 4-9, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 and Matthew 4:12-23). The afternoon will be devoted to a few pastoral visits.
On Wednesday morning I will again be at the Church and I look forward to welcoming the Seniors Sharing the Table folk and the participants from Open Sky! Drop in anytime between 10AM and 11AM for some light refreshments and engaging conversation! Two meetings will round out the afternoon.
Thursday, as has become a valued practice, I will work from home on the liturgy and reflection for Sunday. At 11AM I will participate in a regular meeting with regional colleagues hosted by the Regional Minister, Kendall Harrison. During my stretch breaks over the course of the day I will get the weekly laundry done, and, while the sermon and liturgy may be questionable, I know that the clean clothes and linens will be appreciated!
Friday and Saturday will be days off and if the weather permits, a trip to PEI to see Mom and Dad may be in the cards.
On Sunday, In sha'Allah (God Willing) as my Muslim colleagues regularly reminded me, we will gather at 11AM in-person (and via Facebook Live) and be the people of God gathered in one place, for one purpose: love. May it be so.