From Our Pastor, Rev. Gloria Smith
I feel like a child waiting for Santa to visit at Christmas. I am so excited to return to in-person worship services, to see your faces in the congregation and feel your presence and energy. I am excited to leave the tomb created by COVID 19 and fill the space with the joy found in a family of faith. I am excited to know that the emptiness I tried to fill with my imagination will soon create the relationships we need to experience the fullness of worship.
It has been difficult to experience the energy found in worship and balance the seriousness of my responsibilities with lightness and joy. I cannot wait to smile, laugh, and share our lives. I need to lighten up and I would guess that you need lighter moments in your life also.
So, as you read this, we have days to wait. Many of us who have experienced “too many” Zoom meetings and are tired of the intense interactions created by Zoom meetings need to remember that Zoom has also given us the opportunity to have interaction and maintain organizations (including our church). A perfect example of how communities have stayed connected through Zoom can be found not only in our memories but in a story, I read in CNN’s Good News Newsletter.
Chimps from two Czech zoos are Zooming each other every day
Story by Reuters • Published 17th March 2021
“The chimps at two Czech zoos are just starting to enjoy their new live online linkup. To make up for the lack of interaction with visitors since the attractions closed in December under Covid-19 restrictions, the chimpanzees at Safari Park Dvur Kralove and the troop at a zoo in Brno, 93 miles away, can now watch one another’s daily lives on giant screens.
There are no mute-button disasters as the sound is off, but there has already been plenty of interest in what the distant cousins are up to since the project got underway last week. “At the beginning they approached the screen with defensive or threatening gestures, there was interaction,” said Gabriela Linhartova, ape keeper at Dvur Kralove, 84 miles east of Prague.
“It has since moved into the mode of ‘I am in the movies’ or ‘I am watching TV.’ When they see some tense situations, it gets them up off the couch, like us when we watch a live sport event.” The chimpanzees have also adopted other human behaviors such as grabbing goodies like nuts to chew on while watching the action.
While we can anticipate the joy of returning to worship, we need to also aware that beyond Covid 19 our nation is in crisis. We are coping with Covid 19 and celebrate the declining number of infections and deaths. Our economy is waking up and slowly will regain strength. Yet, we are now hearing of an increasing number of deaths due to the misuse of power by law enforcement toward people of color and weekly mass murders and assaults committed by individuals suffering from mental distress or hatred.
Our united prayers and intentional acts of resisting the power of hatred will have a stronger effect in changing our community as we are reunited and share our energy with God’s world. As Christians, we cannot accept militias and groups of hatred becoming the norm. We owe it to ourselves and God to create a peaceful community or beloved community. Together we will raise up God’s power of peace and love.
So, until we are reunited, God’s peace be with you.