Change is, in a word, hard. It is hard especially when we feel like we don’t have a whole lot of control over the change that is happening. And it gets even harder when those things upon which we have relied are themselves changing. I am not sure about you, but I have certainly felt that way over the last several months. The very things that were the touchstones of my week began to shift underneath my feet. Gathering together on Sunday morning in a community of people who are filled with joy for the Lord was one of those touchstones. How do you hang to any semblance of normal when the bedrock itself feels like it is beginning to move? I think the most difficult part about the pandemic is that we have all felt the bedrock moving, and we have not liked it.
Sure, we made the most of it, and we shifted into different ways of worshipping as we needed. But, it has not been an easy seven months mainly because change has been involved the whole way through. Now, we are hungry for normal, for steadfastness, for stable ground. Now, we simply want things to return to what we were used to prior to the start of the pandemic and the necessity for change. I am right there with you. It would be so nice to get back to a normal way of doing things and to having those touchstones that ground our weeks in something that does not shift or change or move. I think it is the steadfastness of the faithfulness of God that we are looking for, and I think we can find it in our community here at Epiphany as we return to offering a regular Sunday schedule of worship services. Beginning this Sunday, we are offering the following worship schedule, with the possibility of slight adjustments to the time for the early service in the coming weeks:
- 7:45 AM – Contemplative Holy Eucharist – Make a reservation, bring a lawn/camp chair and join us in the courtyard!
- 9:00 AM – Formation Hour Online
- 10:30AM – Choral Sunday Worship – Make a reservation online and join us in the nave
- 4:00PM – Youth Group – Bring a camp chair, a bottle of water, and join us in the courtyard
- 5:30PM – Twilight @ Epiphany – Make a reservation, bring a camp chair, and join us in the courtyard for evening worship
Of course, things still are not the same. We still have to make reservations for worship, and we still have to adhere to social distancing. We are still wearing masks at church, and we are not able to hug our friends at the passing of the peace. There is much that we still yearn for in order to be returned to our normal way of worshiping together. There is still much that we do not feel that we are able to control in the world around us, and we continue to have a sense of anxiety pressing down on us as we seek to grab onto the steadfastness of the Lord. We continue to hunger for a true return to normal.
While we will need to continue to gather in different ways than we did before, we are making small steps towards returning things to normal. We are able to continue to worship together, and you are invited to join us every Sunday for worship in one of our spaces. We are able to find the steadfastness of the Lord in the ways that we practice community in the here and now, and I hope and pray that you will join us for any of our socially distanced worship services.
We all have experienced loss in some way, shape, or form over the past 7 months. Now, let us come together in community to experience the healing nature of God’s grace, and as the post-communion prayer from Enriching Our Worship says, let us leave feeling like we are a people who are “forgiven, healed, renewed.”