As two members of my congregation recently let me know that they had received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, I decided to write a prayer to be recited upon receiving the coronavirus vaccine for members of my congregation and for the wider world.
Following the attack on the Capitol one week ago today, we asked our contributing authors to share a brief reflection or excerpt from what they were planning to say to their congregations in sermons, pastoral letters, and prayers.
Advent is the season of anticipation and hope, and we are all yearning to make connections and meaning in a season that promises to be unlike any other. The pandemic doesn’t mean that churches have to give up on traditions. They simply have to be creative in how they implement them this year. If done right, we might find that the new ways that we live out our traditions help us to make meaning in unexpected, delightful ways. Such surprises are always a part of this time of year, and the Great Surpriser is sure to show up this unusual Advent season.
With the country in the midst of a pandemic and election stress on the rise, congregations need to step into the gap to meet the needs not just of churchgoers, but people in their communities.
This year on World Communion Sunday, I suggest that what unifies Christians is the yearning for communion and the connection that it represents. Strangely, there is perhaps nothing more ecumenical than that unfulfilled desire in the midst of a pandemic, one of many missed points of connection.