Recently, while on holiday, I had the opportunity to attend worship at different churches.
Each service was meaningful in their own ways. One thing I noticed was that the wearing of masks was optional at all the services and only at one of the churches did the majority of those in attendance wear masks.
While drawing my mask out of my pocket I looked around wondering what the difference was in this church compared to the others.
After the service I was told that there were a few folks from a group home who attended and the only way they can attend worship is if everyone masks. This is done out of an abundance of concern around one individual who has a serious lung disease. This faith community would rather all mask then have that one person not attend worship. What a beautiful act of belonging and love!
This faith community has become one of my favorite churches as a result of this selflessness.
There are a few things worth keeping from pandemic living. For example, I do hope the live-streaming of funeral services is here to stay. This has made it possible for family members across the country to attend funeral services.
I also hope ZOOM meetings are a permanent change. Given the long and nasty winter months we encounter here on Georgian Bay I rather like simply turning off my computer at the end of a meeting instead of white knuckling it through snow drifts and white outs.
There are many other changes the pandemic has taught that hopefully will remain but the one I witnessed at that worship service is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful changes; to do for others instead of selfishly taking care of only ourselves.
When we look beyond ourselves and find ways to live that enhance life for others, we make a peaceful world possible.
The pandemic was a universal experience; people of all races, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status and age were touched by it and perhaps the best response is for us, without bias, to show selfless regard for each other by sharing respect, acceptance and patience. As the song goes,
I’d like to see the world for once,All standing hand in hand. And hear them echo through the hills, For peace throughout the land.
I’d like to teach the world to sing,In perfect harmony. And I’d like to hold it in my arms, And keep it company. (I’d Like to Teach The World To Sing by The New Seekers, 1972)
Let’s all join in!