We've been in this pandemic for a year. So many deaths! So much sickness. So much economic and emotional suffering. So much disruption. But now-- we can see light at the end of the tunnel! Some of us are vaccinated! There will be enough vaccine for all American adults by May! The CDC says that vaccinated people can gather in small groups with others who are vaccinated! Grandparents are advised that they can visit grandchildren! Today, my mom visited my dad for the very first time IN A YEAR!! Thanks be to God.
And yet, Good People, I am cautious. I am cautious because I feel the weight of responsibility for keeping each and every one of you safe, and alive. I am cautious because even though I was just vaccinated, due to my blended family and kids going between households, I am intimately connected to twelve other people-- and it's unknown to what extent vaccinated individuals can be carriers of the virus and infect others. I am cautious because the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are less effective against the "South African variant" (B.1.351), and this variant is now in Massachusetts. I am cautious because vaccine roll out is plagued by inequities. I am cautious because as of today, Essex County is still at "very high risk" and "indoor activities are very dangerous right now." (from Johns Hopkins). I am cautious because vaccinations for children are still an unknown, and some of our kids are high-risk.
So we are in an odd, hopeful/uncertain moment! And we are carefully, thoughtfully beginning to plan our way forward. But this will take time, and discernment of how we are to be the church now, in a way that includes everyone, and does not abandon the intimacy and connections we have gained. Our church life is forever altered by this pandemic time: by what we have learned and by how it has re-shaped us. This is a crisis AND a great opportunity. Let us go into this future together, for we are, after all, a resurrection people! :)