On March 12, the leadership of the Unitarian Church of Montreal decided to close our building and to cancel all Sunday services and events for the foreseeable future. We knew there was no other way to keep our community safe.
In the beginning, there was a bit of persuading to do. Could this really be happening? Was it really necessary to socially isolate from each other? Now those doubts seem like a million years ago.
One of my responsibilities as a minister is to offer hope. But in this time of ever-increasing anxiety, my own reserves can get low. Sometimes faith only takes you so far.
One recent afternoon, I spoke with a member of our congregation who has lived for many years with limited mobility. These days she has just one hand that moves, yet somehow she manages to stay positive. She had just spoken to a member of our community who was recovering from surgery.
“You know,” she said, “I’m going to call her more often. She’s all alone.”
That small expression of care was all I needed. My spirits were lifted.
In this time of crisis, I can’t think of greater wisdom. Stay home, but don’t be afraid to reach out. Put a rainbow or a teddy bear in your window for passing children to find. Make a phone call or send an email to someone who might be feeling even more isolated than you.
We will get through this. Each day that we keep our distance shows just how much we care for each other.