How are you doing? Are you getting stir crazy? How are your anxiety levels, and how is that playing out in your life? What are your concerns and fears? It is hard to put an exact date on when this all began, but by my counting we are entering into the third week of mostly staying at home. And everything I read says we are still at the beginning, that sicknesses in Atlanta will not peak for about three more weeks. In other words, we are in this together for the long haul. It is so easy to be overwhelmed by dread, fear, and anxiety. I recently came upon questions to help us in this time.
- What am I grateful for today?
- Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?
- What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
- How am I getting outside today?
- What beauty am I either creating or inviting in today?
If you’d like to share answers to any of these questions, send them to me and I’ll share with everyone.
One thing that has become important to me is sharing prayers with you each evening at 8. I have to admit that when I thought of live streaming Compline each evening I wondered if anyone would participate. I have been surprised at the response, both from within the congregation and beyond. I do feel like we are doing these prayers together. This week for a little variety we will be using the service of Night Prayers from the New Zealand Prayer Book. Night Prayers is the New Zealand version of Compline. Some of the prayers are beautiful. It also offers a little more variety than Compline, with different scripture verses and prayers for each day of the week. We’ll be using it all this week.
Thanks to all of you who have paid heed to Lee’s message from the treasurer last week and have paid your pledges on line or mailed in a check. The vestry is committed to paying not just our “professional” staff (Cameron, Claudia, and me) during this time, but also our Sunday nursery workers, Jesse our sexton (who this weekend cleaned all the carpets), and those who work on the grounds.
And some good news to share. Our contributions to RIP Medical Debt are at $15,740. It seems like ages ago that I announced this Lenten project (it was March 1). The world has changed since then. But one thing that ‘s clear is that medical debt is going to be an even bigger issue. We may not make it to our original goal of $25,000, but with the church’s matching grant, we are now able to relieve $3.2 million of medical debt for people in Atlanta. That is something to celebrate!
I leave you with a request for those who sew. Last week I sent out a pattern for making masks for medical personnel. Today I got a text from my friend Licia Affer, who is rector of St. Anne’s. Her husband, Mauricio, is a scientist working in a lab at Emory. His lab has just been asked to work on finding vaccines for COVID-19. They are working around the clock. But they have no masks, which they need for their own protection. Licia asked if I would ask any of you who sew to contribute to the effort to get masks for the scientists. They do not have to be hospital grade because they are not coming into contact with patients. Licia added that elastic is sold out everywhere. But here are instructions on how to make the masks without elastic: YouTube Link
You can send completed masks to LIcia (contact the church office for the mailing address).
See you for night prayers at 8.