March 30, 2020

March 30, 2020

Another Sunday has passed without being in worship leadership. An odd time in the lives of ministry personnel. Yesterday, I spent my worship time watching and listening to the Moderator of the United Church of Canada’s worship leadership. It was fulfilling time. I also appreciated the musicians…although it appeared that they were playing in some sort of storage room…it looked kind of ‘utility like’. Perhaps the best place for recording? We’re all doing things differently in these days. 

While listening, to help me focus, I sat at my home desk, where we have a large puzzle. I don’t work much at that desk, as I prefer the naturally lit setting of the dining room table. The work desk is in the lower level of our home, and great when you need quiet, but not as nice a setting. The thing is, though, I must of needed quiet, because after listening to Richard’s worship service, I continued to work on the puzzle for at least an hour. 

We live in a relatively small bungalow. There are 3 adults living here – my spouse, our son, and me. Our daughter, the only introvert in the family, has stayed in her Edmonton condo. She is immune-compromised, so she feels safer there…and as an introvert, more content in her own space. 

Home, sweet home…as we socially distance ourselves.

Not that she doesn’t like being home – but she wisely recognizes that all 4 of us, in our small bungalow would mean she’d spend a lot of time in that lower level of the house to meet her own need for private quiet time. The three of us extroverts are just a little too much on an extended basis, especially during this time where none of us are going far! 

That said, we usually see our daughter at least once a month, and I have a feeling this could be a really long stretch. I miss her already, and we could have weeks to go. 

Family has become an important life line in this time. I’ve spoken to our daughter and my siblings more in the last few weeks than I have since my mom’s death. Some of that is because we have all been checking in to share another new reality – helping my dad cope with social distancing and the fact that none of us can see him. Living with in a senior’s residence, and with dementia has made that a really hard thing to understand for him. There is a couple who have worked for us offering my dad companionship in the evenings and when we have been away, since mom died. These wonderful people are continuing to care for dad by delivering treats to the residence for him. Not only does it save me the 90 minute drive in and then back, it gives my dad a sense that there are people ‘on the outside’ who care. This couple has been a God-send to our family. We are so grateful for their care.

I know that many families are struggling in these times of staying home in order to do our part to ‘flatten the curve’ and hold Corona Virus or COVID 19 in check. Many of us are not home bodies, and this isolation is hard on us. Yet, my daughter’s story continues to be a reminder that we are doing this for others as much as for ourselves. 

Others are coping with the realities of work shortages, or lay offs, and the economics of that. Some, who live with domestic violence may be living in greater risk and fear than many of us can imagine. 

And then there are those who are part of that list of “essential service” providers. I am grateful for those who serve in health care, as frontline professionals, as well as in political leadership, helping communicate, and making decisions around supporting our countries citizens through this strange new time. 

I am grateful for people we all have taken for granted – restaurant operators and staff, retail staff, grocery staff, transportation workers – truck, train, airline and buses…getting people and goods where they need to go…with some risk. 

We can all think of those who are still doing their day to day work – often at risk, while so many of us complain about staying home. 

This is a strange new world…and we must each do our part to do that work of ‘flattening the curve.’ If not for ourselves, than for those with whom we encounter who may be more at risk – elders, immune compromised, those who must work in places where they face risk of contracting the virus. 

Stay safe and well, stay home. Blessed be. 


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."

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