When we come together physically as a parish community, we show that we are there for each other, showing our unity (think of our choir's hymn by that title). But during these painful times, while we are dealing with not just one but two pandemics -- Covid 19 and Racism -- how do we show our unity when we can't sit across from each other at church?
One way is communicating how we feel through these reflections in the church bulletin. We can voice things that can bring us closer, show that we are still there for each other. We can put our emotions "out there" to let others know how we are feeling. Reading about someone's experience can help us feel like we are seeing each other.
At this surreal time of the pandemic, economic devastation, and the continuing injustices - especially in our communities of color -- we are all dealing with a range of emotions. Some feelings are new, as things we've never imagined -- much less seen before -- are happening. How do we even begin to deal with being able to see live footage of George Floyd's murder, of peaceful protesters being assaulted by the military, of page upon page of death notices? And some feelings are all too familiar from the past -- I still worry about my brother -- who is now over 60 years old -- when he goes out.
At a time when we are afraid of so many scary things happening in the world, and to those we love, let's not be afraid to talk with our fellow parishioners about how we are feeling, whether it's someone we've known for decades or someone we've never really talked to. It's a way we can make a difference for each other, to know we are not alone, as if we were sitting with each other. Life as we have lived it has been uprooted and changed, and we wonder about what's next. Let us engage with others in our parish community to share our hopes and fears and so that "what's next" can be a more just world, starting with being more connected to one other.