Sunday, March 15, 2020
To Church, or not to Church?
Well, I'm home from the YMCA which is usually a quiet place first thing on Sunday mornings, and was especially so this morning with the threat of COVID-19 loomin. There were some people in the pool -- aka the petri dish --, every other elliptical machine was blocked off, and only a handful of us were in the weight room. We were all wiping down the various stations with religious zeal. Who know how long the Y will remain open, as so many other public places have been shut down.
Speaking of religious zeal and public places, we will soon head out for worship in Trenton. We have mixed feelings about doing so, even though there will be no Sunday School, encouragement to keep our distance in the worship space, and there won't even be an offering! (plates will be at the door.) This could well be the last Sunday for a while if coronavirus infections escalate so we will attend will caution. I suspect that many of the elderly members (our majority) will choose to stay home, and who could blame them. Trenton United does podcast the service, although lots of seniors aren't savvy about this aspect of technology.
I feel for all the pastors and priests, imams and rabbis, who have been strategizing with other congregational leaders about whether to proceed. While we are hearing a lot about social distancing it is actually physical distancing we want to ensure. Social and spiritual connection and cohesion are what we need in uncertain times and we'll need to learn on the fly about how to be mutually supportive and encouraging.
What are the faithful choices when we really have few precedents. Congregations went through this with SARS but this seems much more intense.
God be our comfort and hope in these strange times.
Since this morning the Y has closed indefinitely. After worship today Trenton UC council decided to shut down congregational activities until at least Palm Sunday. And on our drive home we passed the full parking lot of the casino -- which has now been closed down as well.