The global situation about COVID-19 is so well known that I won’t rehearse it here, or add to your worry. I pray God helps helpers in this time of need, and blesses those who (depending on one’s responsibilities) stay at home and wait.
A normal source of strength and hope — our face-to-face church lives — is not open to us. Either we have to make do with church communication, including services, at a distance or have to do without. Worse: Holy Week and Easter will likely be consumed by the pandemic, or rather the public worship and social occasions. Let’s review our options.
My home church and former pastorate, Universalist National Memorial Church has just started online Sunday services. So many other churches also have moved online and are having to become instant narrow-casters, often learning by trial and error. (I preached the first sermon and the text is available here.) But we need other options, both for those who don’t have the internet access, the equipment or the resources to learn the technology. Also, video conferencing has become so important that were it to fail, we would lose this new, valuable spiritual community, and have even less to rely on.
Might I suggest that we pray for one another, privately alone, in couples or households? Knowing that someone is praying for you, and that you are praying for others, is a mutual spiritual gift and connection. Can we take a moment on Sundays to pray for members of your church, and other Universalists, many of whom live solitary church lives?
Some people prefer free prayer, but if you do not, look to the services at hymnsofthespirit.org and the 1894 Universalist prayerbook here for ideas. I’ll note other resources as I find them and will post my resources as my main site, revscottwells.com. I may also publish special issues of this newsletter during the COVID-19 emergency.
Lastly, necessary restrictions on assembly mean that we might not be able to attend funerals or memorial services, or that they may be postponed. I will also develop a brief office to memorialize the dead, which I hope will be a comfort to you and others who know loss.
Stay well. I am praying for you.