Pastor Goes to Extreme Measures During Pandemic/We Are All In This Together

Pastor Goes to Extreme Measures During Pandemic

Rev. Aaron Payson

With the news that the Health & Safety Team has recommended all groups seek alternative means to meet through May 4, Rev. Aaron Payson has relocated his office temporarily. About the measure he remarked, “These are challenging times. However, I wanted to maintain a presence and be accessible to folks. This new location is fairly quiet and clean (they come each week to empty the tank). Additionally, unlike so many others in the community, I have an ample supply of T-paper.”

The move is temporary, however Rev. Payson has indicated that if the measures for social distancing are extended, he’s prepared to make it a more permanent locale.

“Look at it this way,” he said, “with the addition of a small solar panel, I could be completely off the grid and save the church money at the same time! We must do what we can and so here I am! Happy April Fools Day!”

We Are All In This Together

Rev. Aaron Payson

With the turning of the month, and a desperate longing for Spring, we find ourselves contending with an extended time of social distancing. The church will be operating thorough remote means through May 4 at least. And the good news is that during this time, we have discovered a variety of ways to be with each other and to accompany each other.

Our Circles of Care Team have been making contact with members and friends through calls, emails and cards. When we discover a need we are applying resources to assist in whatever way we can: supplies dropped off, food, a listening ear, crisis intervention, connecting to community resources, etc.

The past two weeks have seen stellar attendance at our online services and we have been privy during these events to wonderful music, readings and an opportunity for prayer and reflection.

Our RE Program has developed exciting ways for our youth and children to connect with each other virtually including online games and creative opportunities. Parents and families too are in on the fun.

We are gathering remotely throughout the week to check in with each other as a group and finding ways to share inspiration and insight through the social media we share.

In the coming month we will announce a number of other online opportunities to gather, share and learn from each other and about our liberal religious tradition and congregation.

The congregation contributed 30 scrub sets to the temporary medical shelter in Worcester so that clients there have clean outfits to wear during treatment for COVID-19.

Folks are working with community groups such as Mutual Aid Worcester to support area households with a host of needs including dropping off resources, connecting people to medical programs, supplying the 3 other homeless shelters in Worcester, and helping to fund a number of community efforts.

Sewers making medical masks and other personal protective gear for our medical community and first responders.

In many ways, even in the midst of a time when we feel vulnerable, we are also finding strengths we did not know we had. This will bode well for our future as a congregation. The more deeply we connect, the more meaningfully we serve, the more intentionally we discover purposeful ways of being and coping with the challenges of this time, the more we lay the foundation for a solid future.

I say this with full awareness that there is a lot of economic, and social uncertainty. None of us can predict the future. I continue, however, to be hope-filled, which means letting go of my desire to predict what will happen, and concentrating on what I, we can do, here and now, to alleviate suffering, support those who stand between us and that which can cause dis-ease, and hold our community with compassion and tenderness as we find ways to move forward.

Bless you and thank you for what you are doing and how you are being through this time. Take care of yourselves. Remember the words of Rev. Mark Belletini, “For you are a good gift.” And continue to care for each other and all those you journey with at this time.

If you desire a listening ear, need critical resources, or simply want a virtual shoulder to lean on, please do not hesitate to call or email.

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