First Church will be participating in Giving Tuesday this year to help fund virtual access to our programs even when we go back to gathering in person.

And believe me I can’t wait to gather again in person! I confess I’ve long resisted the idea of “embodied” experiences as a deep way of understanding. Not anymore! Being together physically makes a difference. Plus, I just miss people and chance conversations that help weave connection in the halls or after meetings, and hello grins given and received. I miss it all.

Still, when I think of virtual church, I think of my 90-year-old dad, whose been tuning into services from Vermont and says (almost every time I speak to him!), “Your ministers are just wonderful, just wonderful, both of them!’” And I think of Cami, who explained to our Zoom Anti-racism Team meeting last week that she was speaking softly because she had just put her daughter to bed. I also think of Janet, Lisa, Nancy, Don, Chris, and others who have been vital leaders in this community and remain so from different states now, thanks to Zoom.

Selfishly, I think of Liz who Zooms in from Oklahoma to our weekly Poetry Group. In fact, when we move the weekly group to in-person once a month, I’m guessing a third of our participants live too distantly to join us for those sessions. If we can’t bring them into the room virtually on those Wednesdays, I’ll miss their insights, humor and perspectives.

But with Liz, I’ll find myself smiling even before I know what she’s going to say, and I think it’s because she almost always has a deep strain of gratitude in her reflections. I don’t even know if gratefulness is a conscious choice or practice for her. But I do believe it’s a source of a joy I sense in her that is not always upbeat, but is contagious even through Zoom. I’d miss her example of gratitude. I’d miss her joy.

Lynne Jacoby, Membership Development Coordinator

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