(Originally shared in an enews to St. Paul 8/20/2020, slightly adapted and updated here.)
It is back to school for students, families, faculty and staff. Whether or not you have a student or a teacher in the family or have friends that do, the anxiety and anticipation of what this potentially means for our families and communities fills our hearts as much as it does the headlines. We see around the country schools, colleges and universities opening. Some are doing fine, some have had to close and retool their plans, others are are starting to push re-open dates to see what happens. It is just another reminder that during this pandemic there are still many unknowns, and even the best made plans might not account for all the variables.
A primary learning for me during these past six months is that those with the ability to adapt have a much greater capacity to deal with unplanned change than those who do not. Being able to pivot, stay flexible, innovate and remain open to change keeps a person engaged. Standing one’s ground, closing off and blaming others does not. We have seen in it in business and the economy. We are seeing that now in our schools, and we have experienced that in our churches. We feel it in our families and communities.
These have been challenging days.
The honest truth is that there is no road map ahead. We all have more questions than we do answers and all we can do is our best to stay on the road. Some do it more cautiously, some more aggressively, and some only know how to grumble. What it takes to keep going is both faith and perseverance. Overall I have been impressed over these last six months with how well my people at St. Paul have hung in there, keep moving forward, look to each other as well reach beyond thier own worries and anxieties to be church together.
I am grateful.
As the school year starts we are entering the next chapter of however long this pandemic lasts. As a congregation, we are now trying more ways to get people together than we have the past months, and we’ll keep exploring how to provide more opportunities for worship, learning, service and fellowship in the weeks to come, if possible. And, if we have learned anything over these weeks and months, we should be prepared to understand that those plans will probably all change as we try them and keep treading forward.
And if you are headed back to school this week or have a loved one on campus already – know my heart and prayers go with you. We are all still figuring this out as we go.
Stay safe and be of good courage, and remember wherever you are, you are not alone. 🙂