Thursday, March 27

Good morning, dear Quarantinees!

I remember someone saying in a marital crisis situation caused by the spouse (because it’s always the spouse, right?), “I didn’t sign up for this!” It was another way of saying, “This is your fault. I have nothing to do with it! Now get us out of here…” Yes, we humans like to find blame, and I have done it many times myself, aloud or in my heart. Usually blaming doesn’t help though. It gives us short emotional relief, that’s all. None of us signed up for this major halt of life as we know it. And blaming (other countries) doesn’t help. As with all serious situations in life, we have to deal with it. Watching the developments in other parts of the world and in some of the epicenters of infection in the US, I am convinced that the current strict social distancing rules are the best we, the people, can do right now and will save many lives. I watch with sadness the developments in one of my favorite European regions. In the Alsace region of Eastern France, which we visited on our Europe 2018 trip the situation is dire. There, people over 80 infected with COVID 19 don’t get treated anymore and are just given palliative care. The health care system there is overwhelmed.

At the same time, I believe that we will get through this and will learn a few lessons in the process. What if the world learned to share key scientific information early on for the good of all? What if our political system got shocked into actually working together for the people they are representing and serving? What if we all realized anew that affluence, recreational opportunities and the many distractions we all enjoy are not to be taken for granted and are maybe not to be taken quite as seriously as we often do? I am not telling you what lessons to learn from this and perhaps it is even a bit early for that. But each of us, hopefully, will learn something. Do you know why the world’s democracies were so strong in the second half of the 20th century and much more stable and functioning than they are now? It’s because in the parliaments of those democracies sat many people who had experienced real war and knew what truly mattered. I am convinced of that. Maybe in a backhanded way, this will lead to a renewal of our democratic culture and norms. One is allowed to dream, right?

Enough now of my thoughts.  I wanted to remind you that we are holding the third session of our Bible Study today at noon. I have attached the material again in this email. Please email for call information.   Also, later tonight, we will have a teleconference with our visitation deacons. Tomorrow, on Friday, food donations for Manna on Main Street again can be dropped off in front of the church. You don’t have to come in. You can send us a wave and smile though!  We will get these food donations to Manna because they will are in need right now. I am adding the message from our local Bishop, the Rev. Patricia Davenport at the end of this email. When you scroll all the way down you can read it. Church services will be in virtual mode until at least April 5, but likely longer. And while I am not yet canceling events for April, including conformation, etc.,  please plan for the possibility that these events will be postponed.

For today, I’d like you to pray for all health care workers, nurses, doctors, first responders, pharmacists and all who are on the frontier of the fight against the virus and may not be as well protected (as much as they try and are careful!) as those of us who are at home. I haven’t spoken to everyone in our congregation who is in that field, but here are a few examples.  Adam M. and his wife Theresa are both nurses and needed on the job. Adam serves Nursing Homes and provides care for the elderly. (He also kindly distributes gloves, disinfectant, and masks to people who need them). His wife Theresa works in a hospital. They have one child, young Ella. How are they managing? Ella, as Adam put it, is low–maintenance. Her parents are on different shifts and can tend to her needs at different times of the day. She also spends a few hours each day with trusted neighbors. Not easy, as you can imagine! Ashleigh D., with a young baby, is a nurse at Doylestown Hospital. Her husband Kevin holds down the fort at home because he is home from work at this time. Every day after work Ashleigh goes through a careful procedure to de-contaminating, changing clothes, putting them in a special bag to be washed, etc.  We have a few other healthcare workers in our congregation: Robin A., Lisa A. and probably a few others. Please pray for them and for all who are working in that challenging field. We need their help and expertise, but we also need them to stay healthy!

Be blessed, church and stay safe!     Pastor Andreas Wagner