Extended Presence

By Claire Chinn, Minister of Children & Mission

I miss you. I miss seeing your faces and hearing the laughter and community that takes place on Sundays and Wednesdays. These past two Sundays have been hard, weird, and good.

The worship has been meaningful, and the time we get to spend together virtually has been enriching, and I still miss you all. I miss looking out into the congregation during worship and seeing families sitting together, people singing hymns from memory and listening thoughtfully during the Words for the Journey.  I miss hearing how the kids’ weeks have gone and hearing how they have seen God at work in the world.

I miss hearing the kids answer questions on Sunday and Wednesday and being blown away by their depth or doubled over in laughter as they tell a silly story. I miss our kids and all the ways the teach me every week.

After we completed worship this past Sunday Britt, Kyle, and I walked out, and we all commented on the eerie feeling of an empty church building. It was odd to walk around the chapel and parlor and not see another face, and my heart grew heavy.

Our routine has been broken by a virus that does not seem to care that we like being social, a virus that seems to spread faster than we can isolate ourselves or create social distance. This virus has halted the way we like to do life. And yet we still have found ways to encourage one another, to check in on each other, and to be the presence of Christ to each other.

I miss you all, and I am so proud to see all the ways this congregation has continued to be the Church in an uncertain time. I am proud of the ways people have asked the question, “How can I help?” or “ I am worried about some of our more isolated members. How can we help them not feel so lonely?”

You all have shown me that even though I miss y’all’s presence, the Church’s presence carries far beyond Wednesday and Sunday- You are the Church; you are the presence of Christ, and what a presence that is.