As we approach the first Sunday of the church year, I feel the excitement of past years. I picture folks hearing the opening hymn and sensing a return to shared community. My mind walks again and again through the planned service and I wonder, ‘Will ‘it’ meet the needs of our community?’
Sure, the service is in a virtual format, but it will be ok (won’t it?). The Water Communion offered through images set to music will be cool enough (won’t it?)
Preparing for a new year always included this sense of anticipation. The rituals of welcome and return remind us to ask how we can best include everyone. We want to offer an experience of belonging to those we already know, and to those seeking community. We want the experience to be invitational and renewing.
Interestingly, these aspirations for our Sunday services have not changed in light of the pandemic. Even the ‘Do we have it right?’ questions feel familiar. Yes, my ‘slightly terrified’ feeling about the coming year has a few added dimensions this year, but in reality, it’s not all that different. We’re just figuring out what it means to be truly welcoming.
For now the building will be closed, but the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Easton will be anything but closed. Each week there will be a chance to share in a Sunday experience (ok, on YouTube), and there will be a coffee hour at 11 a.m. (ok, on Zoom). And, we can continue to create opportunities for learning, fellowship, and community outreach together (ideas welcome!).
As a start, I invite you to consider what it will look like to show up for one another this coming Sunday? What will help you engage? What will help you return in love? (If you have ‘tech’ or other questions, please ask.)
We need one another, especially this year.
In faith and love,