Four years ago this month the world turned upside down

Four years ago today we held our last in-person service as the world turned upside down and the Pandemic took over every aspect of our lives.  In the days that led up to March 15, 2020 it became abundantly clear that humanity was threatened by a new, mysterious airborne respiratory virus that appeared to be unstoppable.  While no one knew what might happen in the coming days and weeks, it became clear that we needed to shut down our in-person operations and services. So we decided to host one final service, outside in our Memorial Garden.  I lit our chalice, offered a brief reflection, said a heartfelt prayer, and then invited people to depart by taking a walk by themselves for a few minutes. It was an anxious time with none of us knowing what was in store.

It is amazing how March of 2020 seems both so long ago but also like it was yesterday. So much has happened in the intervening 48 months. Who knew that human ingenuity would prove to be so very crucial in developing a vaccine so quickly – the term “Messenger RNA” was not familiar to most. Who knew how much our lives, economy and society would be upended. Who knew how much the Pandemic would shape our lives and organizations as it waned.  The darkest time of the epidemic has become an “inflection point” in all our lives; so much so that I hear many of us referring to events as being either “BP” or “AP” – before the Pandemic, or after.

Looking back on what happened here in Weston and how First Parish responded, I find myself feeling proud of how we responded as a congregation. We created the Weston Cares Fund and found ways to support local families and organizations in need. And we found many ways to reach out and support one another as members and friends of this congregation, even at a distance. “Err on the side of connection and reaching out.” That’s the message I offered in a short reflection fours years ago today; a message which still holds true four years later.