May 16, 2020

As our state is moving into Phase 1 of reopening, the possibility of resuming in-person gatherings is both enticing and frightening. Our Consistory is undertaking that task, considering what kinds of safety measures we need to have in place order to keep our faith community safe when we begin in-person gatherings. We are patiently and prayerfully, relying on the best information that our scientists and leaders can offer, while we recognize that we carry the responsibility for the task of loving one another safely. 

Making plans in this time is difficult for me, as I like to have a sense of control from start to finish. I loved having a AAA Trip-Tik, each turn of a trip laid out on pages that I could flip ahead to see in detail from start to finish. Trying to plan ahead in this time seems more like following my GPS, one turn at a time, with the system frequently recalculating due to changing conditions. I feel a bit like Jamie B. Golden, who wrote, “I don’t have a five-year plan. God’s word is a lamp unto my feet, not my football field.” I shared this quote with two of our virtual gathering groups that met yesterday.

A close up of a sign

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After one of those gatherings, Making Sense in the Season, Jennifer Dalke shared the following from Sally Jewel, Interim CEO of The Nature Conservancy. Ms. Jewel wrote, “In a section that deeply resonated with me titled “A Mother’s Work,” Dr. Kimmerer recounts choosing and shaping a home in the backwoods of Upstate New York as a single mother with two young daughters, and her efforts to reclaim an overgrown pond so her girls could swim – a much longer project than anticipated, that was not finished until her youngest child was preparing to leave home” It is below:

“So it is my grandchildren who will swim in this pond, and others whom the years will bring. The circle of care grows larger and caregiving for my little pond spills over to caregiving for other waters. The outlet from my pond runs downhill to my good neighbor’s pond. What I do here matters. Everybody lives downstream. My pond drains to the brook, to the creek, to a great and needful lake. The water net connects us all. I have shed tears into that flow when I thought that motherhood would end. But the pond has shown me that being a good mother doesn’t end with creating a home where just my children can flourish. A good mother grows into a richly eutrophic old woman, knowing that her work doesn’t end until she creates a home where all of life’s beings can flourish. There are grandchildren to nurture, and frog children, nestlings, goslings, seedlings, and spores, and I still want to be a good mother.” ~ by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, botanist and author of Braiding Sweetgrass – Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

What we do today matters. It affects not only today, not only our children, but our grandchildren.  The ancient Hebrews knew that, and talked about the blessing of generations of those who followed the Lord. Jesus was all over it, with his messages about planting seeds and waiting for a harvest. Paul talked about it this way, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

Plant seeds of hope today. Wait patiently. It’s not all about us, it’s about God’s future. ~ Anne

P.S. In order to give myself a Sabbath in this season of preparing sermons and Daily Meditations, I will be sending Daily Meditations Monday-Friday beginning on May 18.

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