These times continue to be difficult and unexpected. As many are preparing for a school year unlike any other, we are also preparing as best we can for the unknown. When will a new normal appear and what will it look like? How long, O Lord, until we can sing together in church? When will it be safe to gather like we used to? When will I, or my family, my friends, my neighbors feel secure - physically, financially, emotionally?
In addition to these questions I have many more, as I’m sure you do too. I don’t have a lot of answers and, like you, I am trying to take each new day as it comes. I enjoy being in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings and although I am not used to refraining from hugs - I do. I delight in seeing each person who comes in. But, I also know that our “Re-opening Task Force” has decided that we want to maintain in-person Sunday morning worship (Resuming 10:15am on 9/13!) - we will cease this practice if Niskayuna Central School closes due to Covid reasons. The Task Force has decided to let the School be our local “Barometer” to help us balance our need and desire to gather for corporate worship with a concern for our local community.
Another new part of our routine: Our gardeners have been gracing our sanctuary with flowers each week and with their abundance of vegetables. After the service, the flowers and veggies are distributed and “extras” have been going to the Street Soldiers of Schenectady. We are still making our monthly donations to the Food Pantry, and some of us are also making weekly donations to the Street Soldiers. You can find out more about the Street Soldiers of Schenectady on their Facebook page. Our congregation has a wonderful history of living out its faith with generous donations to folks in need. This pandemic has created a lot of need and we, thankfully, continue to respond in kind. We still have a bag of individually wrapped/ sterilized homemade cloth masks at the entrance of the building. I expect to fill that bag to overflow in the next couple of weeks.
We may have a lot of questions. We may be afraid. We don’t have all the answers. We do have a faith in a loving and forgiving God. Our faith moves us to respond with kindness and grace. And, we are not alone (even if it feels like we are). We continue to be a family of faith. Thanks be to God,
Blessings, Pastor Kristi