It was wonderful to connect with some of you last week over Zoom, text, facebook messenger, or email. Hearing about how you are faring, and being brought out of the isolation of my own thoughts and feelings gives me strength and hope.
This week, I read an article in the New York Times entitled, “In a Pandemic, Religion can be a Balm and a Risk.” Vivian Yee’s excellent reporting covers the way people of faith in the Middle East are responding to COVID-19. Yee writes:
“But social distancing can leave the faithful feeling distant from God. How do you receive the body and blood of Christ when the communion cup might be a vector? How do you feel the warmth of communal prayer, the experience that draws the faithful to houses of worship around the world, in the cold blue light of a live-streamed service?”
In this time of widespread illness, I want to encourage you to practice social distancing and to follow all of the public health recommendations of the University and the State of Wisconsin. This week I was proud to sign on to a letter supporting these actions alongside other faith communities at UW.
And yet, my hope is for you to not feel far from God or from this community. For that reason, I encourage you to gather virtually with Lutheran Campus Ministry by joining us on Tuesdays for Coffee or Wednesdays for Lunch.
In this Lenten season you are also invited to join us as we study and ponder the meaning of the cross at our Thursday evening faith conversation.
Although worshipping from home is no substitute for the gathering of the faithful, you are also encouraged to utilize the worship opportunities from Luther Memorial and Bethel.
And if I can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I would love to connect by phone, zoom, or another virtual means.
May God continue to bless you in this time of uncertainty. Wishing you health and hope in the days to come.