26 Jan Naming our Gifts
You’ve likely heard the old adage, “live by the sword, die by the sword.” Our modern day “sword” is technology, and it has served us faithfully and well over the past twenty-two months, enabling us to worship and be together virtually. But on Sunday, the technology sword fell. I am grateful to David Maley for trying diligently to get us up and running, and when that failed, his quick thinking to switch us to “video record” meant that we captured Sunday’s service. I dropped off the laptop at Glenn Fahrig’s house after worship, and despite feeling a little “under the weather,” before I even got home, he had uploaded the video to our YouTube channel where it was available for viewing. As the service was beginning, our communications guru, Jenny, posted a “technical difficulties” alert, then later, sent out the newly uploaded service link via our e-letter distribution list. So, while it was not a glitch-free morning, David, Glenn, and Jenny ensured that people could worship, albeit not necessarily at 10:00 a.m. My deepest gratitude to all three of them. (And as a side note, some people switched to the “call in” option and heard the service by phone in real time. That link is included in the weekly e-letter and is always an option.)
We will have another chance to put our technology to the test at the Annual Congregational Meeting on February 6. When the Session met in December, we had high hopes that this meeting would be celebrated around tables and a meal, as has been our tradition in the past. Alas, Omicron reared its ugly head, and the meeting will be hybrid and sans food. For those who are in the sanctuary for worship on the 6th, we will remain in our places and conduct the meeting there. For those worshiping virtually, you will exit the worship service on YouTube and join the congregational meeting via Zoom. Watch for both links in the e-letter next week.
As if Covid does not already remind us on a daily basis, Sunday’s technology challenges were another opportunity to embrace the truth that we are not in control. For the Type A’s among us, myself included, this truth is seldom received as good news and not infrequently, I rebel against it with more than a little angst. But I have to admit, during the pandemic I’ve gotten so much regular practice at letting go, adapting, and moving to Plan B (or C or D or E), that I’ve actually made a good deal of peace with this “not in control” business. For me, that may be the most enduring gift that I take out of the Covid experience. It is allowing me to be more fully present to what is right in front of me rather than spending so much energy thinking about the past or plotting the future.
I wonder, what would you name as the gifts you’ve experienced during the pandemic? While I wouldn’t want to go through it again, there have been blessings galore for which to be thankful. I am particularly thankful for you, Calvary, and your faithfulness, flexibility, and tenacity. Sometimes, refusing to quit counts for a lot, never more so than when life has been turned upside down by a virus that is still killing tens of thousands of people. I thank you for loving God, loving each other, and loving our community in creative ways while our “normal” ways are not as safe as we need and want them to be. You are truly a blessing.
Yours for the Kingdom,