April 21, 2020
What a time in history! Over these past few weeks, we have all had to flex new muscles in our efforts to adapt to these unprecedented times. As a staff, we have explored the ways in which we seek to maintain community during social distancing guidelines. As a staff, we have strived to continue worshipful experiences online together. As a staff, we have incorporated your feedback and we have expanded our options moving forward. And as a staff, we need you to know that we are indeed exhausted.
It has been an honor to collectively hold this congregation in love while we have navigated this pandemic thus far. With this navigation, we have consistently encountered the sensation of learning to build the plane while we are already flying in the air. We have been introduced to the nuance of working from home; the feeling of missing “down time” and never really feeling “off”. We have simultaneously balanced the needs of our community with the needs of our own personal lives. We have made decisions that have had trade offs while experimenting with what works best for the congregation as a community.
We want you to know that we are simply doing our best with the hand that we were dealt. Right now, even the top medical experts do not fully know what is going on. We have no problem admitting that we are also trying to simply put one foot ahead of the other week to week. Please remember that not a single decision has been made without taking each and every one of you into consideration. It is only a continuation of what has always been true to remember that we cannot please everyone all the time. What we can do however, is continue to have faith that God is still speaking; guiding us to paths of community and genuine worship.
We ask you for patience and understanding now and in these coming weeks. We believe that without a clear end in sight for this new normal, we need to remember that God lives in the imperfections of our lives. God’s light cannot shine through without the cracks that are created by living in a dynamic and frequently crazy world. We cannot help but think of the Amish tradition of leaving a flaw in every piece of work to honor God’s perfection while our Zoom meetings pixelate their way to imperfection. We remember the Japanese tradition of kintsugi, the act of repairing broken pottery with gold, as we long for the golden days ahead of us when this is all mended and concluded. We hold in our hearts the good luck of rain on a wedding day. This process of maintaining community has not, and will not, be perfect. We hope that you will join us in seeing the perfection in that.
Moving forward, we will be creating worship services around the framework of humane hours and effort. This includes alternating between live and recorded worship services, providing you with educational links so you can better understand and access the Zoom Meeting app, and continuing to seek out the best ways for us to be together as fully as possible.
We love you. We would not be working as hard as we are if we did not. Part of loving you is also communicating what we need in order to maintain space for God to flow and work through us. All of this is for nothing if we run ourselves into the ground. Instead, let us take a deep breath together and envision the other side of this tomb. Let us remember why we started coming to church in the first place. Let us remember why we feel anxious when church is missing from our lives. Let us hold the love that binds us in our hearts in the coming days. We are a congregation of love, patience, strength, and resilience. We are Christians from a lineage of believing people who have worshipped in temples turned to rubble and dirty alleyways turned to places of healing. If our new sacred space is together online, so be it. We are in unprecedented times, but we can do this. Together.
The Plymouth Staff
Plymouth Church UCC Worship is experienced on our Plymouth YouTube Channel and Facebook pages each Sunday through September 4, 2020. Please join us for Worship, then for Coffee Hour ONLINE following on Zoom.
We look to God for the breaking of oppression and healing in the land. Let us stand together with one voice as we watch, fight, and pray with life prioritized.
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