01 Jul From the Pastor’s Desk: I’m back!
July 1, 2020
I am back. My four-week, nine-state, 3800-mile road trip is complete. I spent two weeks in Arkansas with my mom and brother and two weeks in Denver with my daughter. I did a LOT of yard work in those four weeks, enjoyed a good bit of patio sitting and hummingbird watching, feasted on my mom’s first mess of fresh green beans from the vegetable beds, and helped Emily plant a container herb garden. I hiked Green Mountain, made homemade applesauce, washed and waxed my car, and assembled red Adirondack chairs for the porch of Emily’s new house. It has been twenty years since I had two weeks of non-agenda laden time with Mother, so that was a gift. My deep thanks to Barbara for managing the office while I was away, to the Elders for overseeing church business, and to Gene Kendall and Whitney Roberts for spending hours behind the scenes to make live-streaming from the sanctuary this past Sunday a reality. Gene’s sermon addressing the racial wounds of our history, both past and present, is a “shouldn’t be missed” event. If you haven’t listened to Sunday’s worship service, it is available on our website. Click here.
As former Calvary pastor and my mentor, Henry Brinton, quips, “No good vacation goes unpunished!” That’s one of my all-time favorite Henry Brinton lines because it is so, so true! After four weeks, returning to the office has felt something like trying to drink from a gushing fire hydrant. I look forward to getting back in touch with you and to getting into “the flow” of church life again, even as “weird” as our current COVID-19 version of church life is.
Speaking of the coronavirus, I doubt I need to add much commentary to the current headlines regarding the surging cases around the country. I want to commend our Session for taking your health and safety seriously. As much as we would all love to be worshiping together, we are carefully following the national CDC guidelines as well as the recommendations coming from National Capital Presbytery. Until we can safely reopen for in-person worship, our focus and commitment will continue to be on improving our online experience. Gene Kendall recently purchased and donated two state-of-the-art Bluetooth microphones which made a significant difference in the sound quality on Sunday. We anticipate other technical improvements will need to be made in coming weeks.
All of that leads me to say a heartfelt thank you for your patience, Calvary. We have never been a high-tech church, so when the coronavirus hit, we were less prepared than many of our sister churches to move exclusively online. It has not been pretty, at times, and it certainly has not been without some bumps and bruises and setbacks. We have had a steep learning curve, and Jenny Cudahy, David Maley, and Judy Viccellio have been saving graces through our various fits and starts. Gene and Whitney have now provided leadership and expertise to move us to the next phase. We are indebted to all of them, but we also still need additional help. If you have some technical know-how and are willing to be trained on the specifics of our live-streaming process, please contact Gene. Our goal is to have a small team of folks to share the responsibility of live-streaming on a rotating basis. I am looking forward to being back in the sanctuary on Sunday, live and sharing worship with you in “real time”, even if it is virtually.
Yours for the Kingdom,