Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I thank God every time I remember you, as the Apostle Paul once wrote. For indeed, you, my beloved congregation are never far from my mind. 

This last year has been a remarkable one for all of us, to be sure; for me, just like the rest of you.

September marks the beginning of anniversary season for me – the months when I remember the deaths of all three of my parents, my mother-in-law, and my husband – all between September 8th and Christmas Eve. This year will be the first anniversary of my beloved husband’s October 14th death. I have been grieving, learning to be a single, full-time mom, and walking with you through an unprecedented time. We have certainly been through the wringer together, haven’t we? And I have been so very grateful for the grace and patience that every single one of you has shown me through this very unusual time, both personally and professionally.

Now, we find ourselves once again facing down another period of uncertainty; all the while desperately wanting everything to get back to normal. In some ways we will be able to. In other ways we may have to wait a while longer. Still in others, we may find that life will be forever altered.

For example, we are finally able to worship again without masks (yay!) However, our children still have not been vaccinated. So we are going to keep them and their teachers masked for Sunday School (as per their parents’ request). And the pandemic has helped to recenter many of our professionals and their workloads. With many businesses now accomplishing their work entirely (or almost entirely) from home and around their workers’ schedules… as parents… as humans in general… this is an unprecedented change as we look to the future. 

What does all this mean?

Well, more than anything, it means that we need to show kindness toward one another. Everyone is going through some sort of battle we do not know about. We need to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

With earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, and a plague in our midst, it is high time we remember that the world is already trembling for most. 

Have courage. Be kind. And hold on tight. We will get there eventually, just not quite yet. But God is with us until we get there and beyond.

Blessings, Pastor Janie

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