Love Wears a Mask

I love you so much. And that’s why, if I’m honest, I’m really worried about you! COVID rates are spiking here in NYC and across the nation. On November 1, there were ~74,000 new COVID cases. Yesterday, there were ~143,000. We’ve seen far too much suffering and death already—my mind floods with memories of incessant sirens and makeshift morgues. We can’t go back: We MUST do everything we can to flatten this curve and protect our collective health and safety, even when it hurts. In fact, I just cancelled a trip to go visit my dad in Chicago; this disease is deadly and we must all be careful.
This crisis is taking its toll on all of us. It’s been so long since anything even resembling normalcy that we’re all craving human contact: a hug, a birthday party, dinner inside with friends. But we can’t let that craving overcome the protective measures we all must embrace to beat this: Wear a mask. Socially distance. Avoid large gatherings, particularly indoor ones. Think about virtual gatherings for the holidays. Get tested regularly.
I know how hard this is. We shouldn’t still be here, because our government should have taken necessary steps during these long months to control this plague. But here we are, and we’re doing everything we can to care for you in this moment. Our prayer and pastoral care portal is open, so you can tell us whatever support you need. Get a virtual coffee with a pastor. Ask for prayer or a pastoral call. Please, do not suffer alone.
We also know how painful this Thanksgiving holiday will be for so many, as normal plans are canceled, and big Thanksgiving gatherings are replaced with more intimate affairs. So, if you need some love on Thanksgiving, Elise will be hosting a Gathering for Gratitude and Community on Zoom. Get a plate, pull up a chair, and have a bigger Thanksgiving dinner table than any you’ve had before.
And as the months stretch on with still no sign of economic relief, please apply for our Deacon’s Grant and Cancel Rent/Cancel Mortgage grants if you need them by emailing Rev. Amanda. We want to make sure that everyone has enough this holiday season. And, if you’re enjoying abundance right now, please consider donating some of it so that we can care and provide for everyone in our Middle family.
Our love is stronger than this virus. We will get through this together, with God’s help. But right now that means being even more cautious and courageous than we have been so far.
Come Sunday, we celebrate Transgender Week of Awareness with Rev. Dr. Paula Stone Williams preaching. Our grown-up Malaika is reading scripture and Joey Morelli is dropping by, too!
I love you and want you to be well.
A giant virtual hug from me to you,