Pastor’s Corner: August 2020

I begin to write this note listening to a recording of “Amazing Grace,” played on the sanctuary piano by Kathy Webb. I look up and out our front door and the snow-white squirrel that lives in our neighborhood pops up like a Jack-in-the-box in the lawn across the street.

Ho! One second of utter delight.

Hah! One second rooted in complicated, interlocking, multitudinous investments of time and thought and knowledge and wonder.

I have a long history with that music and that music maker… (The ellipsis means a lot.)

And I have been thinking regularly about that squirrel.

For instance: How does she/he/they? stay so very brightly white?

Are there more than one of them? If so, WHY??

Is this local? An anomaly or a mutation? A genetic trait? – an important question as I consider both environmental concerns and survival of the species.

I recall basic genetic lessons and a monk named Mendel. Gregor, I believe. Was he really a monk, as I remember? I am tempted to open Google – but it can wait.

Is it sensible and fair and true and intelligent that I laugh out loud for real when the squirrel pops into view just as my ears and my mind are putting that picture with, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…” and it seems the perfect example.

And “sweet” reminds me of the cherry/blueberry pie that I am about to bake. And off I go.

This is a glimpse of how moments often happen for me – especially these days. From what I hear, it’s like this for lots of us. Moving through much less space than was our custom in “the time before” has freed our minds sometimes to go roaming…. My mind almost always wanders to you, to church, to PPUMC, to what is next and what is on the horizon. And these are BOUNDLESS THOUGHTS.

I am proud of us – I trust this pride is an appropriate and pastorish sort; so much of it is gratitude. We are staying in communication, in connection. We are seeing one another through Zoom and hearing one another’s voices through that and phone connections. We are still sharing mightily! Individual needs get voiced and relayed and connected. And, though none of this is perfect, we are all helping make sure that nobody’s need falls through the cracks. We’ve even found ways to sing together at a distance – although I miss the sounds of us in harmony together in the sanctuary most of anything.

During August we will be making decisions that will shape our near future. Leading up to a dedicated conversation at Administrative Council August 10 (all are welcome!) and moving forward from there, we will be determining guidelines to apply and use to make plans for moving out of social distancing mode and back together physically.

Various teams are considering various programs and events in order to propose plans for:
Community Concert Series, the Art Fair and Bazaar, general church usage, Sunday School and adult learning, choir and music, and IN PERSON worship. Conversations include what new forms these may take? When and how will we implement various actions and plans?

Again, first we will establish guidelines for making these decisions, and the guidelines will be based on the safety of our entire community and the values that we hold in common. Our choices will be both practical and visionary; we will pray and plan. If you have ideas or questions, or want to be part of any part of the conversation, you are welcome! We will get there… Woyaya.

Right now, I’ll go make that pie and look up Gregor Mendel. I wish you a similarly curious day.

Wild blessings,
Pastor Chris