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March Pastor's Note

When I was growing up, March meant two things in our family: birthday month, and tournament month. My mom and paternal grandmother were both born on March 4, my sister on March 14, my dad on March 17, and my maternal grandmother on March 21. We have a lot of pictures of birthday celebrations that were taken during commercial breaks from either the ACC or NCAA basketball tournaments. Duke was pretty consistent in delivering birthday wins over the years.


The month has taken on some new and different meanings over the years. March is the month when the world shut down. Three years ago, everything changed for all of us. And for some of us, life changes and losses were compounded by all of the chaos in the world around us. It’s still too much to wrap my head around, some days.


Our minds might still be playing catch up, but our bodies remember. Our bodies remember anniversaries that we no longer mark on the calendar, and in some cases would rather forget altogether. But our bodies remember.


Three years ago, everything changed overnight. The three years since have been an uneven journey forward. Some changes have reversed. Kids are now back in school full time. Sports and activities are full steam ahead. We see a few more masks here and there, which is different, but otherwise, we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming. Or not.


We’ve embraced the gifts of technology for ministry, and our wonderful livestream has made worship a lot more accessible for more people. Some of our members were not able to join in person regularly because of health concerns, travel, or other issues, and they’ve now been able to connect more regularly from the comfort and safety of home or from the road. We’ve welcomed new faces and names into our congregation, who have been involved completely online! We’re still ironing out the wrinkles of some of our hybrid offerings, but those, too, have made the worship, nurture, fellowship, and mission of the congregation more accessible.


I don’t think any of us take for granted the online accessibility of worship, but it is easy not to see how much work still goes into bringing us live each week. Each week, we have 7 volunteer slots to fill for the tech team alone! That’s not counting extra worship services, including funerals. We couldn’t carry out this ministry without the dedicated support of these volunteers. If you’d like to be part of the team, talk to DeAnne or Joe. They’re always happy to train new volunteers, and that gives more flexibility and time “off” for the whole team.


All that being said, we have a number of our tech team who will be on the road the weekend of March 12, and so we will not have a worship livestream that Sunday. All who are able to join in person are welcome to do so here at the church house. Mark Dewey will be preaching and leading worship. If you’re not able to join us in person, we have about 3 years worth of services online, and you’re welcome to go back and worship with one of those! You can find them all here: https://www.facebook.com/TrinityHarrisonburg/videos/?ref=page_internal I would recommend viewing or re-viewing the worship service led by the Season of Repentance Task Force last Palm Sunday. It’s quite timely! https://www.facebook.com/TrinityHarrisonburg/videos/1140166323413799


As we enter another March, be aware of the knowledge that your body carries. Take some time to sit with it, and honor it. Make some space for grief, anger, or any other emotion that you’ve been carrying consciously or subconsciously. Remember that we experienced this together, we’re in this together, and we’ll get through this together. All that “together” comes with a need for extra grace. May we receive it from the Holy Spirit in abundance, and show it to ourselves and each other in return.


Grace and Peace,

Stephanie

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