March 21, 2020 Greetings in these strange times…

I am sitting at my computer, listening to CKUA radio play great music, and offering words of inspiration for these days. Music heals the soul. In these days of isolation and uncertainty, music is a gift. Sing along, play along, immerse yourself in music!  

Normally, on any given Saturday I am working on a sermon. Not today. Today, I feel a little lost. My role as minister, pastor, preacher, looks a lot different than it did a week ago. 

I serve congregations whose populations are on the older side of the age range. Many of my United Church colleagues are promoting and encouraging their folks to connect via live-streamed worship and conversation times. I, this week, created and posted a worship resource for our websites…with invitation to make it interactive by sharing it with those at home, or by picking up the telephone and sharing it with a friend or family member. The other thing I did was phone many of our elders who are not connected by internet/email, to let them know that although we will not be gathering for worship, the church is still present for them. The blessing in those conversations was that I received as much care from those wonderful folks as I gave. 

I do offer that worship resource I created to you, dear blog reader – it can be found on either Olds or Sundre United Church’s websites: www.oldsunited.ca or www.sundreunited.ca

Also on those sites, there is information from our wider church, that I will share as appropriate, with thanks to our web manager, Kathleen at Windsor Graphics. I may even get inspired to create a Facebook site, as I know there are those in my communities that may not log onto a web-based worship experience that might connect with their phones…and Facebook offers a little more interaction. 

It is becoming clearer and clearer with each passing day that life will be different than ‘normal’ for a long time. I pray that as you live into the ‘different’ you will find places to nurture your spirit, and your body. Go for a walk, enjoy spring (even though my part of the world is still covered in snow, I plan to walk more). 

Listen to good music, watch interesting documentaries…make this an opportunity for learning! 

Whatever you do in these days, be conscious of those who are immune-compromised or elderly, those for whom COVID 19 poses the highest risk. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay focused on the reality that we will get through this most effectively if we strive to live as community. 

Reach out as you need to, and as you are able…keeping that safe distance. I find this is one of the hardest things, not reaching out to hug, shake a hand, hold one another in love. Our smiles, our words, our prayers are so important in this time, as we hold each other in love in safe ways.

Remember too, that we are not alone. We are surrounded by the love of the creator. 

Keep in touch…figuratively… and be well, my friends. 

Until next time,

Tammy

Author: Tammy Allan

I am in ministry with the Olds-Sundre Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada. I've served in a rural farm community, in a resource / tourist based community, in an urban city church, and nw back in rural ministry (over 6 years in this community). In August 2019, I began my 2nd sabbatical...the focus of which is to study what helps rural congregations thrive and flourish. That time concluded in December 2019. Today, I resurrect this blog, as we journey through this time of uncertainty as a result of a world affected by COVID 19 or coronavirus. So, journey with me, as we stay connected in this time of "social distance."

3 thoughts on “March 21, 2020 Greetings in these strange times…”

  1. Oh Tammy…just what I needed to hear today…as we are on day 2 of 14 day self isolation….to be this close to kids and not able to be with them is hard! Stay safe. Thanks for the social connection. Alana & Vern

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