Just before the start of summer in 2016, I sprained my ankle, quite badly. Some of you probably remember that. I certainly remember some of the care I received when I was immobile! It took a few months before I regained full mobility, and even then, I experienced more occasional pain and strain for a long time after that. I realized how much I take for granted my mobility when I was temporarily immobilized. It’s easy to take things for granted, until they’re suddenly taken away.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been working with some local colleagues to plan and prepare for a shared outdoor worship service, which will take place at 9:45am on Sunday, April 23, at Turner Pavilion. Note that we won’t have our regular worship service here, but we do hope to be able to livestream the service from there if you can’t join us in person. This is a service three years in the making. We had been planning for a shared service like it in 2020, which would have celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, but that, along with so much else, was canceled in the wake of the pandemic. We’ll gather this year, though, and celebrate the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day instead.
I’m grateful that we’re going to have that service, finally. I’m grateful for more opportunities to connect and work with colleagues locally and beyond, as in-person conferences and meetings return. Don’t get me wrong - I’ve also enjoyed the convenience of Zoom, and we’ll continue to use that in addition to gathering in person.
Right now I’m gearing up to be a soccer mom. Isaac played a couple of seasons at the Wellness Center when he was 4 and 5 years old. And by “played” I mean he played like a jaguar (his team mascot), prowling and pouncing along the field while his teammates ran the ball up and down, trying to head towards the correct goal. If they are able to secure enough volunteer coaches, Micah will be playing soccer for the first time - his first organized activity like this, ever. Had it not been for COVID, he, too, could have gotten his feet wet with the low-key Wellness Center soccer. On a related note, if anyone wants to volunteer as a coach or assistant coach for 7 year old boys, let me know!
In the coming weeks, we will have our first in-person Maundy Thursday service since 2019, and our first Easter Brunch since 2019! I still am blown away by the degree to which our lives have been upended over the past 3 years.
As we return to more of our regular activities, I hope we can pause with greater appreciation for these gifts, having been deprived of so many things over the past three years. I say this with the knowledge that COVID is still with us, and will be, and exercising more caution and awareness of risks, especially for the medically vulnerable, is an important way we continue to care for each other. Still, we’re moving forward.
May the weeks and month ahead be filled with opportunities for us to give thanks for things we once took for granted. Waving Palm branches, enjoying Easter brunch, and celebrating Earth Day in ecumenical worship, let us give thanks to God for these and many other gifts!
Grace and Peace,