Minister’s Moment, August 2020
Six months into this global pandemic and reality has started to sink in. We are in this for the long haul. What we thought might be a brief inconvenience has turned into a way of life.
Given the option, none of us would choose this. But here we are, each of us experiencing an endless list of losses. We’ve lost loved ones and the opportunity to grieve them properly in community. We’ve lost jobs and income. We’ve lost inperson Sunday worship and time together as a church family.
We’ve lost inperson milestone celebrations like graduations and birthday parties. We’ve lost summer rituals like sports and music festivals. We’ve lost precious time we would have spent with grandparents or grandchildren. We’ve lost our sense of normal. And there is no end in sight.
Psychologists call this phenomenon “ambiguous loss.”
Ambiguous loss is any loss experienced without closure. It is a loss which does not have a clear beginning, middle, or end and which can lead to unresolved grief.
Sound familiar? If this doesn’t perfectly describe the experience of living in the year 2020, I don’t know what does! We are collectively living through a time of ambiguous loss – we don’t know when it will end or what closure will look like.
Without taking the time to face this truth and grieve, it can be truly overwhelming.
So, beloveds, please know that it is okay to grieve for what you have lost. Closure may not be possible right now, but that does not mean we cannot face our losses, grieve deeply, and keep moving forward.
As we do this work, it will be important for us to stay grounded and hopeful.
Perhaps hope seems hard to find right now, but that is what Peoples Church is here for – to offer hope and help you find it again. For as Emily Dickinson wrote, “hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.”
This month at Peoples we will keep exploring Hope as we continue in PHASE 1 of our reopening plan, which essentially means the church building will be closed with everything, including worship, online. Only extremely limited inperson operations will be allowed with no more than 5 people present wearing masks and practicing social distancing requirements.
But just because we are not together physically does not mean we are not connected spiritually and socially. So please join us this month in our brave journey to face reality and find good reason to hope.