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Hello St. Laurence, 
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First of all, no new news yet on our reopening.  That will be forthcoming.  But we are preparing to have some form of in-person worship beginning June 14.  
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As we are moving to reopen our society and begin interacting with each other again (albeit at a distance!), I’m aware of not wanting to lose something about this time.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am ready for the isolation to end.  And I’m aware that for parents with children, having to both home-school and work at home as been quite stressful.  The loss of friends to play and socialize with has taken quite a toll on our youth.  It takes a village to raise a child, and children need the village.    
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But there has been a gift in being able to slow down, stay home, and attend to family relationships, home improvement and gardening.  I’ve saved money by not having opportunity to spend it.  Instead I’ve been able to hike and bike amidst the glory of this spring.  
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This has been a Sabbath time.  It’s been restful and restorative, and I’ve needed that.  It puts the hustle, bustle and stress of life before COVID-19 in contrast.  The fact that the air around the globe is cleaner should make us pay attention.  The Earth has needed this Sabbath too, the birds are singing louder, and the beasts are finding greater freedom in the space that our rest has created.  
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We have to do things differently now.  We are being forced to.  But there is opportunity in that.  Opportunity to live more humanely, with greater appreciation for how interconnected and dependant we are upon each other.  Opportunity to see with greater clarity what really matters.  Opportunity to give thanks for the goodness of our lives.  
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I sent this poem out at the beginning of our sheltering in place; I send it out again at the end, because we have new eyes to see it now.
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Peace to you this day, 
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Eric
 
Pandemic
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
 
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
 
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
 
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20