Beginning Sunday, February 20th, 2022 we will be returning to both 8 AM and 10:30 AM in-person Services at St. John's. While we have been given the go ahead to resume at anytime now, I have decided that our various groups, ie. altar guild, choir and I need another week to get ready, so this week, Sunday, February 13th, 2022 we will continue to be virtual, and will be streaming the service as normal at 10:30 AM.
It is feels funny to say "streaming as normal." I guess nothing is really "normal" anymore. There has been a lot of starts and stops with this virus. There has been a lot of confusion, a lot of information, and misinformation. Sometimes, I don't know what to believe and what not to believe. What is normal?
What I am really sick of, however, is the polarization of people because of political rhetoric. What used to unite us, seems now to divide us. What happened to together trying to conquer a common problem or enemy? Why is it now, all about me, and only me? And not about us, all of us? This does not seem normal to me. Yes, we can disagree and even strongly disagree, but to sometimes tragic consequences? We cannot come to any understanding about the use of guns, or masks, or vaccines, or what climate is doing to the planet. We cannot even agree on when or how we can vote. It all seems to be about winning or losing. The haves and the have-nots.
You know, people are people, whomever they are. All of us have needs, wants, desires, and we have values that define who we are and who we want to be. If you are anything like I am, we can get caught up in the divisive circumstances that infects our community, our nation, and our world with animosity, enmity, and resentment with those whom we disagree. But I have had to take a really deep look into the well of my being at why I believe what I believe, rather than listening to the rancor that seems to overtake civil discourse. Sometimes, I just have to put aside the issues and look into the eyes of my neighbors, as well as those with whom I disagree, and hold on to my deep embedded values with which I was brought up in the Jesus Movement. That is what defines who I am as a human being living in this world today.
I am glad to be coming back together with all of you! I hope you are glad to be coming back with me. No matter what we believe about the issues, or what the struggles and contentions are in the political arenas of this world, may we all value Jesus' platform to love God and one another, to feed the hungry, giving good news to the poor, release to the captive, sight to the blind, letting the oppressed go free, and declaring God's favor, respecting the dignity of ALL human beings. For this is our work, our mission, Christ's in the world. Now, lets get back to work! For me, that is what normal looks like.
See you on YouTube this Sunday at 10:30 AM. Blessings as normal. Fr. Bill+