Today’s Joy: April 2020

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

No Fool’n, It’s April
“In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.” — Psalms 37:19

A phrase from our wedding sermon surfaces this morning. Mark, husband of The Late Rev. Faith Farré, our minister, was in the Navy. He said, “My how fun flys when you have time,” on extended cruises.

These words resonate on the first day of April 2020. My feelings run on two tracks: the hard facts of the coronavirus and the hope of the human spirit to solve the issue.

April has been designated as a time to continue to stay-at-home time. The C-19 spreads like wildfire over the entire globe. The medical community is being stretched to its limit. Keeping our distance and observing sanitation rules will slow the spread, according to the experts.

The Today Show interviewed a small company in Waxahachie, Texas, that manufactures a helmet style ventilation system. This medical device may be used by doctors instead of a ventilator. Doctors at the University of Chicago have successfully used the device. The company manufactures these devices 24/7 with strong demand. The owner says he will give the specs to any company who will make them. I saw him as a voice of hope in this crisis. 

Social distancing has slowed down the spread of the C-19 in California and Washington. As the cases numbers have slowed, new cases continue to arrive at hospitals. The facts support social distancing. Let us continue to social distance each other.

My Christian Education board will assemble Holy Week kits to be delivered to people selected by the pastor. It contains a safety sealed communion kit with a message by the pastor. I do my part as chair of this board. We have met and planed this project via conference calling, texting, and phone calls.

April begins with two songs: Bob Dylan singing “The Times, They Are Changing.” and Louis Armstrong sings, “It’s a Wonderful World.” April gives us more and more time. May we use it wisely salted with fun, hope, and joy amidst the reality.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

New Avenues of Connecting
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” —Isaiah 43:19

The week I used several different sources of connecting. I will share my experiences with them.

Our church groups use Zoom— a platform for meetings. My church used Zoom to worship with people from our immediate area, Florida, and North Carolina worshipped together with our pastor. People were glad to see each other. People are learning to mute their microphones, so everyone is not talking at the same time.

Yesterday afternoon, I had a Zoom meeting with 22 fellow ministers from across the state. We check-in with each other and learned that most were doing very well and serving their congregations in various ways. A person from The Night Ministry, Chicago’s homeless ministry, continues to reach out to the street people by using a limited number of people with precautions.

Yesterday, I talked with a psychotherapy colleague over FaceBook Messenger with a video connection. She said it was cold and snowy in Canada while it was warm and sunny in Chicago. We got our business finished. Also, we have used FaceBook messenger for family connections.

I conducted a Christian Education meeting via FreeConferenceCall with four people. We meet for an hour for support. We decided to make kits of psalms; an individual communion packet with wafer and juice, sealed; and, a pastor’s message.

We have called on the phone to friends and family around the country. Many smartphones have cameras to see each other.

My point today is that we can stay separated from each other and remain connection. Zoom, FaceBook Messenger, FreeConferenceCall, FaceTime, or the telephone offer avenues to stay connected. Each of the platforms has written or video instructions.