My mind has been buzzing with all the ways our world has changed in just four short weeks. There is not one aspect of our daily lives that has not been impacted by this unprecedented season. New terms like essential and non-essential jobs, social distancing, and distance learning have become an overnight reality with a whole new set of norms impacting our daily lives. Many of us don’t yet understand the full impact of these new guidelines for social engagement. Dare we go out or not? Can we go to work or not?
I have heard from some of you who are struggling with the reality of social distancing. One of the toughest realities is the separation from friends and social circles that we have learned to lean into during times of difficulty as well as times of joy. Even in these difficult times, we can find our faithful and steadfast God in new and fresh ways – though it might stretch us.
God’s people have experienced a kind of exile throughout God’s salvation story. In Egypt, in Babylon, and even in Jerusalem after the crucifixion, the disciples hide in the upper room. But God never leaves us; God seeks the faithful out in new expressions of love and grace. “When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord.” ~ Jeremiah 29:13-14
In this crazy new world, we are seeking to find God in new expressions of faith and love for one another. We will worship God in separate spaces, but with a single heart and voice. We will care for one another through a variety of digital media, but with a single passion for one another’s well-being. We will find new ways to pool our resources, so that the Decatur Methodist Family continues our legacy of support for our neighbors. Elsewhere in this publication, you will find the new ways you can join us for worship, learning, giving, and serving.
And remember, each of you are in my prayers daily. Pray for me and your church staff also. Let us all rely on the God who seeks us out in new ways during this odd and anxious season.
Peace be with you,