Exerpts from the Newsletter
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A message from Pastor Laurie:
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
The first person to receive the vaccine against the virus in this country, a nurse, said she felt that hope and health were finally on the way. As I watched her receive the injection these words came to mind, the words of the prophet Isaiah that we read on Epiphany.
1Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. 3Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far away, and your daughters shall be carried on their nurses’ arms. 5Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and rejoice, because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
We are reminded that no matter how deep and dark the valley we have been in, God always
walks with us, giving us hope and providing the light that shines through the darkness. It has been a struggle to observe protocols that separate us from loved ones and from one another at Calvary.
Christmas is such a special time, and we were not permitted to be in the same space, surrounded by our beautiful decorations and singing the beloved carols together. Yet we were blessed with the gift of sharing worship through our recorded service, unit-ed in hearts and minds as we have been throughout this pandemic. The light and spirit of Christmas broke through the darkness.
Despite the restrictions, we still donated funds and food to the hungry and toys to children who would otherwise do without. We made ornaments which will be on our own trees and the Cal-vary tree next year, forever reminders of this difficult time. We also supported members of our own congregation who have been struggling. Some good things have come out of this devastating time. Through our live-streamed and recorded services we have reached more people than ever be-fore. Our Sunday school grew in numbers. We learned that we are strong in times of need.
Although things will not change with the coming of the new year, we have new hope in the vaccines that are gradually becoming available. When we first had to refrain from in-person gatherings last March, we never imagined we would not be able to celebrate Easter or Christmas as we are accustomed to. Yet we did worship together – enjoying wonderful outdoor worship all summer and a Zoom Interfaith Service of Thanksgiving! -and we continued our Christian education and our outreach to those in need. The light at the end of the tunnel appears brighter and closer.
We do not know exactly what this new year will bring, but we will face it together in love and hope, knowing that Emmanuel, God with us, ac-companies us along the way.