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The COVID-19 outhouse..

It was so nice to get away for awhile and just relax. I want to thank all of you that were praying for me during my time of renewal. I love you all and I am blessed by this amazing community we call Tom's Creek UMC. Yet, day to day worries and concerns during COVID-19 take a toll on the mind, body, and the soul. I always want to make sure people have a place they feel they belong and the stress involved with making that a reality during this pandemic has only increased the pressure I feel. So this time away was a little reset that will allow me to have the strength and perspective on how we can continue to move forward in the midst of a pandemic.

I had the opportunity to find some great places to stay that kept me safe as I traveled during the pandemic. I slept on a boat in a marina, I slept in a tent in the trees, I slept in a cabin on the ocean, I slept with family in Vermont near a lake, I slept in a cabin in the mountains with a glorious view, I slept in a glamping tent that was all lit up at night. They all looked beautiful and almost perfect in pictures but you know each one had issues if you wanted to complain. On my trip I didn't really have a good sunrise or sunset but I saw glorious ones that we had right around here on Facebook! It is all a matter of perspective. One of the places I stayed is where the picture that is attached is from. They had an outhouse with a carving in the door you could look out of while you were sitting in it. Oh the most glorious view but now remember where this picture was taken!! My friends we always need to take time to have some perspective.

In November we plan to re-enter the church for worship and I thank the committee that helped come up with a plan. I know that as people read the plan some will not be happy. I understand that and I acknowledge that. There is no perfect plan in this case. I can tell you for that every idea that people have that they think is better those ideas cause other problems. Just one example, having multiple church services is problematic because there is not enough time between services to do the type of cleaning necessary to use the space in the same morning. The plan the team created has many different ways people can worship, and for some that means watching or calling in from home while we wait for a vaccine. It breaks my heart to not have us all together in the building for worship but the plan does have a way that everyone can join us in worship. From the perspective of the people involved in creating the plan this was the best we could do given all the competing constraints and issues.

The people that built the outhouse realized that there are a lot of yucky things about what happens in an outhouse but decided to try to make the most of it. They created a moment of beauty in the midst of literally a sh*tty situation. That is what we as a church have been trying to do since March as COVID-19 has attempted to destroy us. We have taken what has been thrown at us that is awful and tried to do the best to create moments of connection and beauty. It certainly has not been perfect but we have created moments that are just beautiful in the midst of the COVID-19 outhouse. I pray that we continue to find ways to keep that perspective as we move forward together.

Blessings, PH

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