Submitted by Brad Inglis
No pancake supper, no Ash Wednesday service, no Lenten lunches and if Jesus doesn’t see his shadow, we might be in for forty days of rain! It’s hard to believe we have almost been in this virtual holding pattern for a year. What have we learned? That even a pandemic won’t keep the visitors away. That we are stronger than we think and good handwashing, masking up and keeping a distance does help us stay safe. People still have a generosity of spirit and just because they have a mask on – doesn’t mean they aren’t smiling and the squint of their eyes tells us this. Modern technology and conveniences aren’t the monsters we thought they were – the good old telephone, computers, Zoom, Youtube, Netflix, social media in general and even tried and true Canada Post have been life-savers to keep us connected with the outside world – I think you can even get wine delivered!
So what happens as we move into year two? The livelihood of our business owners and their staff is really important – we need to support them. Safe and affordable housing is a real issue and we need to continue to address this so that people can actually live and retire here year-round and work with the various businesses and be in community. If we thought we had to be brave before, we will need to be even braver this year as we take the vaccine, maintain our handwashing practices, masking and distancing, and find a way to be out in the world. We can’t live in isolation and fear forever.
As we head into the season of Lent, I am thrilled to say that churches on the peninsula continue to look for creative ways of working together to provide services online. On February 17th there will be an Ash Wednesday service online at 7pm. Watch Facebook and my weekly barrage of emails for more details. If you want to join our email list, just send me a note and we are happy to add you. It isn’t a life sentence and you can always get off it for a small fee. Our plan is to also have a brief weekly Lenten reflection hosted by various churches for you to access online. Again, watch for details.
Our goal after the provincial lockdown is to return to regular in person services following our established protocol. This is totally dependent upon how seriously we as a Province choose to follow the covid procedures and reduce our number of cases. Fingers crossed, we are heading in the right direction. We still won’t be able to hug the Easter Bunny or share our eggs – but we just might manage to gather at a distance by April 4th and celebrate Easter Sunday in some capacity.
Do you have something interesting you have been watching online? Maybe a concert series or environmental/nature program, workout routine? Don’t forget to share it with friends. Consider starting your own email chain – compile a list of like-minded people and share a new recipe each week, or a book that you have particularly enjoyed and give your review, what about a Netflix recommendation? Staying in touch will be the key to our success and covid has been a great excuse for avoiding those who you don’t like – there is always a silver lining!
Brad Inglis is the minister at Tobermory United Church. He can be reached at [email protected]