What’s New? (Serious Question!)

No, you’re not confused about the day of the week! It really is Friday! The Pulse (like the check in) is running a day behind this week. Like my favorite quarantine pick-me-up the Holderness Family says, though – “time has a different sort of meaning these days!”

How are you? And what’s new? It might seem like I’m asking that with a wink because there’s a certain rhythm of safer-at-home that feels like nothing ever changes – like now that everything’s new, nothing’s new. But I’m finding that it helps to pay attention to the small changes, the way life is shifting all around me.

For example, a couple days ago we met our new neighbors – they just bought the house next door. Through masks we introduced ourselves, and they told me about their hopes for their new home. She ended by saying, once we’re moved in, we’ll exchange numbers, just in case. It was a small gesture. She probably didn’t even think much about it. But still, I found it really meaningful. A way of acknowledging that we might each find ourselves in need of help – and given our proximity, we can be there for each other.

This week I’ve been talking to members in our church who were children during World War II, listening to their stories and the lessons they carried with them through their lives. We’ll be sharing some of these stories in our service this Sunday.

One big theme that has come through repeatedly is the way that neighbors and local communities were a source of so much support and strength for each other. Trading ration coupons so that everyone had what they needed. Helping with clothes or food for a family with the dad away at war. Putting on aluminum drives so that everyone could feel like they could contribute. Through these small ways of showing up for each other, people found a sense of meaning, and resilience.

We’re starting to flesh out a fuller vision for our Circles – especially as we prepare for the possibility of being all-online for the coming year. And as we do, these stories of neighbors helping neighbors, and growing relationships at a hyper local level – these stories are at the forefront of my mind for what it means to “unleash courageous love in these times.” To start with the shared assumption that we will all find ourselves at one point in need of help – and with a certain proximity – we can be there for each other in ways that provide us with that critical resilience.

This Sunday we’ll be sharing these stories, and also the stories of sacrifice required by the war – the ways that this does and does not connect with what we are being asked to sacrifice today – and how that sacrifice plays out differently for different people. I hope you’ll join us – 9 & 11 am MT – links below.

With love,
Rev. Gretchen

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