Pastor Rick's Letter to the Congregation,
 January, 2022

As we celebrate the beginning of a new year, alas, the Covid Chronicles continue! I am happy to report that as of January 6, 2022 the member of our church who tested positive for covid is feeling better and is on the road to recovery. It’s also gratifying that, to my knowledge, no one else in the chapel has tested positive. But these remain challenging times for us as we make it through another surge of covid cases.

The Board of Trustees met last night to deliberate about how best to navigate through this time. First, let me offer a huge “Thank You” to all who responded to the survey. Sixteen of you replied back with your input. The vast majority (fourteen individuals) favored returning to Zoom services for now. While many of you were appreciative of the hybrid services (on-site and live-streamed) only three wanted us to continue them at this time. The Board decided to offer Zoom services on Sunday up to and including February 6. What happens after that will be decided as we get closer to February and see what the situation is like. The next scheduled meeting of the Board is January 19 at 7 p.m. But the Board is prepared to schedule additional meetings as the situation evolves.

I know how tired we are all feeling about the protocols, the lack of normalcy and socializing together, and the ongoing fears and anxiety about the unknown. But it will get better. And we are fortunate to have the resources and the resiliency we need to make it through this pandemic.

One of the lectionary readings for this coming Sunday is from the book of Isaiah. It is a glorious song of redemption for a people who have known too much calamity, exile, foreign occupation and oppression.

thus says Adonai, the One who created you, O Jacob,

One who formed you, O Israel:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name, you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am Adonai your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. . . .
and you are precious in my sight, and honored,
and I love you.

--Isaiah 43:1-3a,4a

To a people who had experienced their share of violence and oppression God promised presence. Maybe that’s what gets us through: the presence of a sacred mystery that never gives up on us, the continuing call to love, to live, to work for a better world than what we now experience, and the recognition that we are not alone even in times of isolation.

Your partner in our shared ministry,
Rev. Rick Yramategui