This Sunday, March 14th, we will mark the one-year anniversary of switching to online services (and online everything!). But we’re doing so much more than that.
One year ago, everything changed. Uncertainty, fear, and grief crashed over us as the country shut down. Now, a year later, we are still in the same place… sort of. With vaccine distribution underway, it can feel like we should be moving on – we’re in the final stretch, after all. But anniversaries have a way of pushing everything to the surface. As I spoke about in a December sermon, we need to move through the stress cycle, rather than just pushing through before we’re done processing.
We need to acknowledge the ambiguity of this moment. It’s okay not to know whether to consider your experience growth or survival. It’s okay to celebrate the creativity we brought to this impossible and uncertain reality AND to acknowledge the deaths, the illness, the birthdays that didn’t get celebrated, the new babies that have not been held by their extended families, the memorials that have been put off, the isolation, the year of childhood caught on pause.
It’s healthy to honor the new ways we have cultivated connection and how we’ve expanded our capacity to care. It’s also okay to be scared of what comes next. We have instructed our bodies that separateness means safety. How will we remember the ease of togetherness? What does safety mean now?
Transformation is still happening – this is a moment to pause and consider, but not everything needs to be worked out right now! You are not behind! It’s ok to still be processing each of the major events of this last year. It’s ok to still be in the grief, the confusion, the getting by. We ARE still getting by.
Yet, we have persisted and adapted. We have shown up for each other. Without a place to GO to church, we have learned anew what it means to BE the church. And this is the way forward. How we will be the embodiment of our mission every day, how we will live our values every day, how we will be in this together every day. This is the move to celebration – it is a move of wonder, awe, curiosity, and amazement.
The path forward will not always be clear and easy. There is so much to sort through in our minds, hearts, and bodies. We need to tune inward, lean on each other, and make space to discern – rather than merely decide – what comes next. What gives me the most hope – what I am celebrating at this anniversary – is that through the struggle, and the mess, the uncertainty of it all, we are growing, and we are learning, and we are in it together.
P.S. Be sure to check out our reflection questions and look back at the year below!
As we prepare for the one-year anniversary of switching to online services, we’re taking inspiration from NPR’s #TheMoment, which asks listeners where they were and what they were thinking when they realized a shift was happening.
We’ll be posing questions for reflection around the tremendous (ongoing) transition, we’ve experienced over the past year. To start off our collective reflection/mourning/celebration:
1. When did you realize things were changing in a profound way? How did you feel?
2. What is one way you’ve adapted this past year?
Click here to share your answers with us!
We will also be posing daily reflection questions on our Foothills Online Facebook Group – Click HERE and request to join!