Last Sunday we experienced the entwining of joy and woe, in real time, simultaneously, as we rejoiced in congregating outdoors for the Sunday Service, on the lawn and under the trees on the west side of the Barn. We haven’t been together, in person, since Music Sunday, March 8, 2020. By my count that’s seventy-eight virtual Services mounted between then and now. The Executive Team, the Worship Committee, and especially Music Director and show-runner Chelsea Musson have done a fine job in making our virtual church Services way above average.
When I emerged from the office from where I do my parts in the Service, I was met by a throng of happy people departing. There were at least forty congregants participating in this in-person Service. It was a hybrid because we offered a live option to our Zoom option. I counted twenty-four additional Zoom participants at one point. So, the Service had a total participation of well more than sixty.
It was a big success, and primary credit for creating the live-but-safely-distanced event was made possible Mike Moutrie, Steve Askins, Todd Underwood, Mila Brinker, and many others. It felt and looked soooo good, we are doing it again next Sunday, that is, this Sunday, September 19. Please remember to bring your own chair, water, hat with visor, or parasol.
What kept this day from being nothing but wonderful was the news, delivered to most of us via the Joys and Concerns element of the Zoom Service, that our dear friend Valerie Howells had departed this world a few hours prior to the Service. Valerie was a force of Nature, and thoughtful, and a fighter, and good-hearted. Her death leaves a big hole in our community, and a bigger hole in the Howells family. You left too soon, Valerie, way too soon. Farewell.
Rev. Leland Bond – Upson