I had some great ideas for the column this week, but wouldn’t you know they both fell through. Best prepared plans. This led me to scour the internet for what might be happening at places of worship on the island, and as I suspected, even though there is a pandemic, they are all still quite busy. It was pretty amazing how you all turned to virtual worship, some meeting live and online. Maybe this idea that God is everywhere is true.
Anyway, I found a few interesting things that I thought I’d share. First of all, the fantastic community program MV Food Baskets, from Good Shepherd Parish, has a job offer. What could be better than helping to feed families in our community? Here is the job description: “Help organize the food distribution from Saturday to two weeks. Maintain contacts and coordinate the food drive with community organizations. Stock the pantry weekly. Unload the cargo truck. Submit monthly food bank report. The position will begin in June with training in January and February. Applicants must be able to lift 50 pounds and work 40 hours per month. Please contact the office at 508-693-0342. »
I continued and found something intriguing on the United Methodist Church website. There is a serene outdoor photo of benches among the trees, with the blue ocean in the background, and below it is written: “Christian Mindfulness. Stay tuned.” This is quite exciting for me. I used to be very good at practicing centering prayer many years ago, and like all things that are good for me , I dropped it. (The best part about this new deal for me is that I can just walk into the newsroom and ask Eunki Seonwoo when it might start, since her dad is the pastor there.) If you want to check out the site for yourself, visit umc-mv.org. In the meantime, I’ll pester Eunki for more information.
The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury is hosting its annual meeting this Sunday, February 6, after the morning Zoom service. This is an opportunity to learn more about all aspects of your church, and perhaps discover some things you didn’t know. Visit the church website at www.wtcongregationalchurch.org to know more.
At the Chilmark Community Church, it seems the Thursday strings are still happening, but I would call to make sure. Maybe it happens virtually too? 508-645-3100.
Edgartown Federated Church has a great website, and I’ll also add that they have a really nice Instagram presence as well. Check them out at @federatedchurchmv.
Pound for pound, you might not find a more attractive website than the MV Hebrew Center. Each day of the calendar offers something to do. Rabbi Caryn Broitman leads a class on Job and Daniel, Shabbat services, education committee meetings, the racial justice book group, a poetry workshop and more fill their schedule. Read it and you will also find writings of Rabbi Broitman (mvhc.us).
Finally, this one was very timely for me: Liturgies to Say at Home was something I saw on the Grace Church website. These are smaller services published online from the Book of Common Prayer so that you can use them during these socially distant times. It includes daily devotions that can be said at the beginning and end of the day, at noon, and before going to bed. The noon prayer serves as a fixed point in the middle of the day for prayer, and compline is a nice way to end the day. Find information on graceepiscopalmv.org/liturgies-to-say-at-home.html.
I’ve been looking for a way to calm myself down, something I can do every day that will make me slow down and breathe. Maybe 15 minutes a day – either I could start the day with, end the day with, or better yet, incorporate it into a lunchtime thing. And I think I found something that helps. I was looking for apps with prayers and reflections and found a Catholic app called Laudate. I chose the Catholic app only because the old-fashioned font and Gospel reading and response format are familiar to me. I look at the readings, the responsorial psalm, the gospel, the reflections and I read about the saints who have their feast on that day. That’s it. It takes maybe 15, 20 minutes to do. Because the information is brief, it allows me to pay close attention to the words, and I give myself a few minutes to digest what I’m reading, to think about it and how it might apply to my life. I love it. I’m on day four now and trying to commit to it.
I’m just wondering if this is something that might work for you too. Explore a variety of apps and you might find one that’s right for you. It doesn’t have to be a denomination at all, as long as it helps you slow down and express your gratitude. I am a big believer in God enjoying every time we spend with him. Think about it – we love when our own children take time for us, so it makes sense that God feels the same way. I’m a little simple in my theology, I’m afraid, but it works for me. Let me know ([email protected]) if you find anything interesting, and I’ll check it out too.