by Rev. Bill Gupton
As we continue to be separated from the larger Heritage Church community, and unable to gather together as one large family of faith in our physical building on Newtown Road, we are finding new and creative ways to experience the special blessing that is being part of this beloved congregation. Opportunities abound to gather virtually in ways that will help you, and all of us, in these unique times – including ongoing, weekly events like “Slip into Sleep Meditation,” Anxiety and Stress Reduction sessions, our traditional Vespers services and brand-new all-ages Sabbath services, and groups devoted to healthy eating, communal knitting, supportive conversation and more. I’ve begun offering biweekly gatherings for the health care providers in our midst, whose courageous work in these challenging times, on behalf of all of us, is remarkable to behold.
Our Caring Circle has created a congregation-wide network of phone trees that include small (four or five homes) groups where folks are checking in with one another. Please continue to do that regularly – and if you haven’t heard from anyone in the church lately, please reach out. People are making meals for the sick and elderly, leaving gifts of love on folks’ doorsteps, posting messages on Facebook and other social media, texting, calling, and – yes – gathering frequently on Zoom. Although the church itself is “closed” I can attest that all the usual meetings (and more!) of leadership and administrative groups, committees and teams, continue to happen; it’s just that they’re all on Zoom now.
If you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, step up. Volunteer to help. The work of the church does continue; in fact, in many ways, there is more work now. And there are those among us who have far less available time now, with children at home 24/7 and other added responsibilities brought on by the crisis. There are many ways to get involved as our church ministry evolves and adapts in what one of my colleagues refers to as “these volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times.” We need you. We need each other.
I hope to “see” you on Zoom or in other settings soon.