July 11, 2020: Living While We Wait
July 11, 2020From the Rector
Living While We Wait
Here is a confession: generally speaking, patience has not been one of my virtues. I often open curious envelopes while still walking back from the mailbox. I am tempted to try to figure out surprises before they happen. I was even that child - the one who hunted high and low for Christmas presents, climbing up to top shelves in the closet and even on one occasion unwrapping and then very carefully rewrapping a gift. I just don't like waiting!
And yet, here we are. Waiting to reopen, waiting to see what school might look like in the fall, and most especially for me, waiting until we can gather in person as a church. I long for us to be together, I am eager to be together, and yet, here we are. As I've shared previously, we've been exploring possible ways to begin coming together very carefully for outdoor worship, and I'm grateful to so many of you for sharing your perspectives in the recent survey.
One of the key things we learned from that feedback is that more than half of you would not feel comfortable attending in-person worship any time soon, and many more would only want to try it occasionally. In addition to that feedback, Bishop Marc has asked that the whole diocese continue to refrain from gathering in-person, for worship or for most other activities. Because of the recent spike in Covid-19 here, his belief is that it's just too risky for us to gather right now, even if it is legal to do so. As impatient as I am to be together again, I agree with him, and I am grateful for his leadership. Staying apart is not without cost, but I share Bishop Marc's belief that our highest priority is to safeguard one another's lives, and I am unwilling to risk your health in order for us to be together. It's not easy, but here we are, and we'll be here a little while longer, yet.
That said, life and church need not be on pause while we wait! On Wednesday night your vestry reflected on the many ways we see God right here, right now, and how we hear God's call even while we remain apart. We are exploring more ways to serve our community, (and see each other, from a distance, in the process!) new ways to connect and learn together (check out our new Bible study on Monday!) and researching more ways to keep improving our live stream for worship.
So, thank you friends, for teaching me patience, for sharing your generous spirits, and for finding new ways to walk through these times together. I trust God is here, no matter where "here" is, or what it looks like, and I am eager to keep living into that promise with you all.
Brown Bag Bible Study
Ok, so if you aren't leaving home, you probably don't need to put your lunch in a bag. But for the next four weeks, you are invited to bring your lunch and your curiosity to Zoom, and join Rev. Liz to discuss the readings for the following Sunday. What leaves you scratching your head? What have you always wondered about? How do these stories connect with your life right now? We will probably gather more questions than answers, and leave with plenty to ponder until we hear the same lessons again six days later. Join on Mondays, July 13 - August 3rd, at noon. Please contact the office for the Zoom link.
Christmas in July is here!
We are again celebrating Christmas in July on Sunday, July 19th. We are collecting both food and the traditional backpack supplies including:
- Plain colored backpacks
- Hand Sanitizer
- Face Masks
- Printer Paper
- Other typical school supplies
This year we are also looking for gently used and new children's books and young reader chapter books.
This year Hope Solutions, formerly Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, is collecting money for backpack supplies in an effort to reduce viral exposure. The Monument Crisis Center is still in desperate need, with the reduction of school breakfast and lunches, for canned and dried goods.
We will be safely collecting all donations, both school supplies and non-perishable food on July 19th from 12:00 - 2:00 pm the parking lot in front of our church. A masked volunteer will gather the goods from your trunk in a contactless transaction. There has never been a year with a higher need.
Make Your Voice Heard
Are you longing to hear and/or sing a favorite song or hymn during the Sunday service? Now is your chance to let us know. Please send an email Colleen with your request(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 Men's Retreat Postponed to November 12-14, 2021
Because of the uncertainties about the Corona Virus, the Ranch has canceled all group meetings for the coming months. So let's think positive and plan for a retreat in November of next year. Questions: contact Klaus.
2020 Women's Retreat Cancelled
It's with great regret that we're cancelling this year's Women's Retreat in early October. The Ranch, in accordance with the Sonoma County authorities, has limited rentals across the 30 odd rooms available to families living together and single people. So in Harrison House, we could only have a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 9 (if a family group were to join us). Instead, we've decided to reserve Harrison House again for 2021. The dates will likely be October 1--3, 2021 so you can save them if you remain interested. While we remain disappointed, at least no one will blame the Women's Retreat for any Covid-19 outbreaks! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Theresa Nagle.
Zoom Coffee Hour continues!
It has been a sweet joy to come together for a coffee hour on Zoom! Join us again this Sunday for this informal time to check in with one another, hear how everyone is doing, and just enjoy seeing each other's faces! We'll gather at 11:30 Sunday morning, so you'll have time to get a treat and pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee. Contact the office for the Zoom link.
Compline by Zoom
All are invited to join in Compline on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Have your prayer book handy and open to p. 127. If you don't own a prayer book, here's a link: https://www.bcponline.
Hymn Sing Zoom Invitation!
Join our Hymn Sing this week at 7pm on Thursday evening. Come and sing with us - no hymnal or special skills needed. We will take requests during the meeting, or if you wish to submit one ahead of time, you can email Colleen Henry. Contact the office for the Zoom link.