Dear St. Andrew's Community:
In the most recent issue of the New Yorker there is an article by Jia Tolentino, "Can I Help You? The meaning of mutual aid during a pandemic." Her opening paragraph succinctly captures the essence of why this is such a strange reality we are in. I've reread it several times, and I want to share it with you:
"We are not accustomed to destruction looking, at first, like emptiness. The coronavirus pandemic is disorienting in part because it defies our normal cause-and-effect shortcuts to understanding the world. The source of the danger is invisible; the most effective solution involves willing paralysis; we won't know the consequences of today's actions until two weeks have passed. Everything circles a bewildering paradox: other people are both a threat and a lifeline. Physical connection could kill us, but civic connection is the only way to survive."
She goes on to describe the many spontaneous mutual aid efforts that have sprung up and how these may -- or may not -- have lasting effects on our society.
Having words to describe what we are experiencing helps us to deal with it. Her words are helping me.
In the midst of this, I am thankful once more that we have found a way to connect with and support each other as a community, to engage in "mutual aid," and to have our faith support and guide us.
This week the session meets to assess where we are and where we are going. The Pastor Nominating Committee continues its work. The "Feeding Our Neighbors" program will continue this week and next, with a wide range of volunteers making it happen. In innovative ways, we are filling the "emptiness" with meaning, service and purpose. I am grateful.