From the Pastor

(April 2021)

Pastor’s Article 


I was privileged to be vaccinated a few weeks ago.  It messed me up for a day and a half.  I had pretty bad chills and a lot of aches for the better part of 24 hours and spent a lot of time on the sofa (which I don’t generally enjoy!).  But you know what, it all worked out – a small price to pay for doing my part to move the response to the pandemic forward, to show responsibility for the lives of those around me, and to be a bit more available to those who may need me.  To my delight, every day seems to bring a new report of someone being vaccinated in our community.  In obedience to scripture, it seems wise to “rejoice with those who rejoice,” and every report is someone who is excited to also be doing their part.  My job is simply to celebrate, and occasionally give some advice – lots of water, take the time you need, and listen to your body.  So, let me say it clearly for everyone – get vaccinated when you can! 


But my thoughts about vaccination have taken me beyond the shot(s), and more to what this spring/summer season will mean for many of us.  I felt a certain amount of freedom, but I hadn’t thought enough about what that freedom would mean – not until we registered Brenna for baseball.  As soon as registration opened, a good friend of mine whom I’ve coached several years with started texting me non-stop, “Hey Coach!  Let’s do it!”  Much to my surprise, I felt very tired at the idea.  I’m used to simple Saturdays with nowhere to be.  I was comfortable with an extra open evening or two every week.  I love being around baseball, but I was really surprised at the apathy I felt about the idea. 


In that moment I realized that our reactions to “the new normal” are going to be as varied as our reactions to the vaccine.  Some of us will float on just fine.  Some of us will struggle with the new demands on a schedule we had gotten comfortable with.  Some of us will be thrilled at the opportunities that are open to us again, while others will feel the burden of a heavy load.  Some of us will be able to shrug off stuff that just doesn’t seem as urgent as it used to, and others of us will feel overwhelmed with the pressures that come banging on our door and our inbox. 


Let’s start here:  whatever our reaction, it’s fine.  Your mind and body will react in the ways they will react, and no amount of forcing will change that.  This is true for you, and for the people around you.  So, we begin re-introduction with grace for ourselves and for others.  But I think it wise for us to begin the process of preparing.  We begin in prayer.  Ask God to give you clarity about your life, what God’s call on your life really is.  When questions arise, be specific about those prayers.  Then, we live into those prayers.  We say yes to some things, and no to others.  But that’s only a step in the journey.  Our next step is to commit to listen carefully to your body and your mind as you live into these questions.  Are you experiencing life?  Are others affirming your participation?  Are you contributing positively?  This careful listening can assist in bringing clarity and purpose to our lives, sorting out the wheat and chaff of our lives. 


Because truth is, as long as we have lived in this pandemic reality, so it’ll take just as long, if not longer, to learn how to live faithfully in a new reality.  It’ll take time.  And that’s fine.  But we don’t go alone.  With journey with Christ, who is always with us.  We journey with one another, who will love, challenge, and encourage us along the way.  And together, we’ll discover God’s good purposes in our lives. 


A blessed Easter to all!  Peace and good –  


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St. Mary's United Church of Christ 

1441 East Mayberry Road 

Westminster, Maryland 21158





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