Feeling What We’re Feeling
and Finding Meaning in That
by Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones
Beloveds, let’s take a breath ………..
And another ……….
We are moving now into our second month of Sheltering in Place—how are you doing, really? Have you already cycled through several rounds of ups and downs? How’s your family, from the youngest to the oldest? Are you increasingly worried, or are you finding some constancy in your new daily routines? Are you discovering new ways to replenish yourself, new ways to connect, to feel productive, to rest, to discover beauty and even joy in these extraordinary times? How is your own health—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual? How is the health of your family, your friends, your framily? Have you had a chance to reach out to folx who may be lonely or isolated or ill? Have you connected with a local food pantry or direct service agency and made a donation, if you can? Have you discovered the peace and freedom that this generosity brings?
I’m going through some of the same ups and downs and all-arounds, and I’m learning so much—all at the same time. As hard as this time is, I’m catching glimmers of how some of what we’re learning will serve us well moving forward. Some of what we’re learning is making us an even more deeply connected and caring congregation. Some of what we’re learning is so necessary for the world we really want to create and live in. Some of what we’re learning—about how truly interconnected we are worldwide—has been true all along, but now we can feel it in our bones. How does this change how we live day to day? How can we build on this unique moment of visible global community—for the good of all?
David Kessler, who worked with Elizabeth Kübler-Ross on the “five stages of grief,” believes that the “discomfort you’re feeling is grief” in the midst of this pandemic. You can read the wonderful article about him in the Harvard Business Review here: https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief.
Kessler also believes that there’s a “sixth stage” in the grieving process: meaning making. And that’s what we’re about as a faith community: discovering what grounds and guides us, what gives us the courage to move forward, what connects us at the root and at the heart. There’s liberation in all of that, my darlings—there’s freedom in this work of learning how to live in Love.
Please join us this month as we discover what frees us, even in the face of uncertainty. And please don’t miss our celebrations of outgoing Interim Director of Religious Education Susie Idzik on April 19, and our new Director of Faith Formation jo mosher on April 26! Virtual parties abound!
with so much love,