We are so grateful to be hearing some good news from our health officials and governor about the level of illness in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. This time of distancing has been very difficult for all of us, and for families facing illness, it has been devastating. As we continue in this crisis, I wanted to take time today to remark on the important and amazing role that our children and young people have had in stopping this virus. I was talking with my son about the virus, and our response, and how to help out. As any good teenager would- he asked, “what can I really do to help out?” What he didn’t see, is how much he has been doing- how much he is doing to stop this crisis. By staying home from school, giving up birthday celebrations, missing out on spring sports, activities and hanging out with friends, our children are as much heroes in this crisis as any of our other essential workers. So this week, I will ask you to please share my thanks with your children. Please say thank you for all of the missed games and practices, thank you for the scout meetings, field trips, play dates, Spring trips and missed proms. Thank you for missing graduations and parties and friends. On behalf of all of the vulnerable people in our congregation, in our city. Thank you. Thank you for loving and caring for them. Thank you for loving them as Christ taught us to love.

Bill Gates recently said:

When you go out and see the empty streets, the empty stadiums, the empty train platforms, don’t say to yourself, ‘My God, it looks like the end of the world.’

What you’re seeing is love in action. What you’re seeing, in that negative space, is how much we do care for each other, for our grandparents, for our immuno-compromised brothers and sisters, for people we will never meet.

People will lose jobs over this. Some will lose their businesses. And some will lose their lives.

All the more reason to take a moment, when you’re out on your walk, or on your way to the store, or just watching the news, to look into the emptiness and marvel at all of that love.

Let it fill you and sustain you. It isn’t the end of the world. It is the most remarkable act of global solidarity we may ever witness. It is the reason the world will go on.”

This week I also want to say thank you to everyone who has helped out with Family Promise this week. We are taking care of the three families who would have been staying with us during our regular hosting. In this virtual hosting, we are bringing groceries, activities, supplies and gift cards every other week. If you would like to participate in our upcoming deliveries, please sign up here. We are shopping for the families and dropping items off at one collection point in Summit. Supplies are being delivered every other Friday.

During this time when we are all separated, I hope that you are feeling connected to God’s love, and that your children are as well. We have stories, activities and videos available for children of all ages every week. We also have Zoom and Facetime meetings for middle and high schoolers. We are facing so much uncertainty. It is good to remember that nothing can separate us from God’s love. That God’s love is unchanging, and that God is near to us. If you or your family need to talk to a pastor, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can also connect with us in weekly worship and daily devotions at noon on Facebook. Finally, I hope that it brings you comfort to know that your pastors, your Sunday School teachers, and your church love you and that we are praying for you.

Yours in grace,

Pastor Deborah

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