If you have been reading these posts regularly, you may remember that several weeks ago Bishop Wright set May 24 as a possible time for us to be able to worship in person together again. In a Zoom meeting with the bishop this morning he said what I’ve been suspecting — that the May 24 will come and go without us gathering. The bottom line is that the future is uncertain, and there is no magic date right now that we can say with any confidence will be THE day.
Some of you may be thinking, “We can go to the mall; why can’t we go to church?” First, please don’t go to the mall! The bishop’s decisions are based on consulting with medical experts. We are blessed with many of those in Atlanta. Until they say it is safe, we will continue as we are now.
I’d been expecting this news, and I firmly believe it is the right thing to do. It is also disappointing. I hate having to say I can’t baptize your baby right now, or officiate at your wedding, or bury your loved one. All of those things are on hold indefinitely and that saddens me. It is hard not knowing how long this will last. But as the bishop reminded us this morning, this is how we live into our baptismal covenant to respect the dignity of every human being. Right now we do that by continuing to stay apart from one another in order to protect each other. We are still the church, scattered, yet together.
One of the groups I feel saddest for in the midst of all of this are those who are graduating this spring. It is an important milestone, and a virtual graduation is just not the same thing. We have three people who fall into that category:
- Connor Mark will be graduating from Chamblee High School with plans to attend the University of Georgia.
- Former St. Dunstan’s parishioner Ethan Stansbury (who moved to Colorado a few years ago) will be graduating from Duke.
- Our parishioner Billy DuBose will be completing seminary at Emory.
I’m sure all of them would appreciate a congratulations note or card.