Pastor’s Paragraph for July 19, 2020

Pastor's Paragraph for July 19, 2020

JULY 19, 2020

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“Tell us about your mask.” This was the opening ice breaker question in our Pandemic Parenting class this week. And one by one, people unmuted themselves and told us a little bit about the mask they wear when they go out. Some have homemade masks; others prefer construction masks. Some masks were bought, others gifted. Some are a fashion statement, while others are just a requirement. And within a few minutes, we learned a little more about the parents on the other end of the screen who were also trying to navigate the pandemic’s uncertainty while attempting to raise faithful children. 

I, along with many people, started to sew masks when the pandemic first began in March. Sewing is one of my favorite hobbies, yet my current life does not lend itself to quiet afternoons of sewing. The sewing machine was still in a moving box from our move last August. The box was found in the guest room closet, still secure with packaging tape and a “fragile” sticker stuck to the side. I pulled out the beautiful, white sewing machine, and inside the big box were smaller boxes and bags of fabric and supplies. Years and years of sewing projects, some completed, many not. 

I used the scraps, the extra fabric from those projects, to make over a hundred masks. Although the recipients never knew it, each mask had a story. A baby blanket for my first friend that welcomed a baby; a costume used during student teaching; curtains from seminary; dresses for my daughter; a clergy stole for my husband; and holiday banners to decorate our first home. While I sewed each mask, I would think about the people or occasion the fabric was originally intended for and smile to myself, knowing that this fabric now had a new life providing protection from an uncertain and scary disease.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” Every day through Christ, we are offered the opportunity to repurpose our old lives and make them into something new. During this COVID-19 season, we have had the opportunity to reimagine and reshape our daily lives. Many of us have been forced to step back, clear the calendar, and just be. We are able to take the time to evaluate what we really miss from our “old” lives and what we don’t mind leaving behind. I invite you to notice: Who are the people and the events that you put on your calendar first? Were you most excited to see your grandkids or your parents? Were you eager to get back to work? Have you already signed up to attend in-person worship? Do you foresee any changes you might make going forward? Maybe you will continue grocery and supply shopping online to make more time for family on the weekends? Maybe you will connect more often with long-distance family and friends and not wait for in-person reunions? This season allows us to take our old lives and create a new “normal”. I trust God is working within each of us to help us navigate this new creation we are building together. 

Jenny Streeter

Rev. Jennifer Streeter
Pastor of Discipleship