Gratitude in the Time of Coronavirus
It’s easy in this period of uncertainty to focus on the inconveniences, irritations, and disappointments we are experiencing, not to mention the fears of possible illness, unemployment, and other misfortunes. Our church has come to the rescue with some great resources, from online church services and meditations to videos for kids and virtual pastoral visits.
Strange as it may seem, practicing gratitude can also help us cope. What better time to focus on the good things still happening every day, like folks sharing resources, neighbors helping each other while protecting their safety, and our church communities maintaining connection online or by phone or even – gasp – by snail mail. My inner-city church is continuing our bag lunch program by placing meals in a cooler outside the church office on the honor system. I’m sure you all can share some similar stories.
At the beginning of this article, I shared a picture of something that I am grateful for, something that I enjoyed without leaving my social isolation bubble. When you experience a calming moment of gratitude as I did this morning, you may feel inspired to make an offering in your Blue Box. If a monetary offering is not possible, a note about what you are grateful for is an authentic response.
As the time approaches when parishes typically plan a Spring Ingathering, it is well to remember that UTO Grants address needs that will not pause while we deal with the coronavirus. It’s more important than ever for those of us able to give to continue doing so. Your parish Ingathering this spring may look different. It might be a strictly mail-in or online event. The “blue” treats that many parishes usually enjoy on UTO Sunday may not happen. Even so, we fervently hope that your parish will decide to go on with the usual Spring Ingathering, whatever form it takes.
Meanwhile, stay safe and be sure to wash those hands!