Grief During this Time
Please know that I pray for the people of St. Paul's every day. I again bid your prayers for the clergy, staff and our families.
As we enter another week of isolation and await Palm Sunday, I am acutely aware that we are experiencing grief in ways unknown. Grief is sadly not limited to a time when we lose a beloved person in our lives, but is rather a time when our expectations, dreams and hopes are inextricably changed and upended.
In the early weeks we often are in shock, perhaps even feel foggy headed, and sluggish or alternatively full of energy committed to "defeating" the grief. Denial and anger can come in unexpected moments as can tears of sadness, fear and worry. Remember that Jesus wept in the face of his own grief over his friend Lazarus . Please do let yourself experience those moments when the sadness overwhelms and in your prayers turn your grief over to God.
For people who are grieving we are told to connect to others. Sadly the in person connections are no longer an option for us so we are even more isolated in our grief. Yet even if we can't connect in person we are continually called to be the living body of Christ manifested in ways of care and love. Parishioners are calling each other, Facetime between family members anchors the days, talented parishioners are making face masks for others, plus postcards and emails to friends and family help us re-connect. Our Tuesday and Thursday evening prayers help us to worship God together in prayer.
Yet these are extraordinarily tough times. Sometimes we need to call on other resources for support for ourselves and others. On the website this week we have posted information about emotional and spiritual resources for you, your friends and family. Please remember that connecting with these resources is a sign of courage and resilience not of weakness. Also, clergy are available for conversation and prayer. Don't hesitate to reach out to us.
With Holy Week approaching, we will walk with Jesus to the cross, on a path perhaps littered with grief. Yet at some point we will find Resurrection in unexpected ways on days not marked by a calendar. Our services may be vastly different from what we have shared before, however our memories of past years together in the sanctuary provide comfort just as the familiar prayers and music from our on-line offerings are a reminder of God's promise "Behold I make all things new."
Know that I miss you all and hold you in my heart.
In God's hope,