What a different world we are in as a community today than we were last week. So much sadness in our little community with the sudden and devastating loss of Eric: our friend, our warden and our fellow follower-of-Christ. There is so much to process in a sudden trauma, will you be kind to yourselves as you grieve?
I was so grateful for zoom yesterday as hundreds of us gathered to mourn and to hope as we gave thanks together for Eric’s life. There is great comfort in being ‘together’ in sadness. We all grieve in different ways, but one way which can be so helpful is to tell stories, to remember. This is a way of processing our emotions that God has used over the millennia, urging his people ‘to remember’.
And so this Saturday, Dec 5 at 2pm, we will gather again to hear and share stories of Eric’s life. Here is a zoom link to that gathering. Come ready to listen, and maybe to share! If you are planning on sharing, write it out and keep it concise :) there may be many people who want to tell a story! I expect that we will cry, but we will also laugh and give thanks. Eric was a man who brought joy and delight with him as he warmly welcomed people with his generous spirit and enthusiasm for adventure. So expect to feel ALL the feelings as we spend time together! After the zoom time, the Owens' neighbors are going to be doing luminaries at 5pm in memory of Eric. Perhaps you'd like to drive around Alcova Heights and see how Eric was loved?
In addition, if you are part of our community, I will be sending a link where we can gather 'our' stories of Eric and his role in our lives. These can be short - a sentence or two… look out for an email from me!
Another way of processing grief can be to use our hands, and making peace cranes was something we were already doing this Advent to decorate the Chapel (Amy wrote this beautiful blog explained why & how here). A number of you have mentioned that taking time to slowly fold, and bend the paper has been a lovely way to slow down, to feel your breath, to pray. Why not fold some cranes as you listen to one of our favorite Advent playlists. You can drop off cranes any weekend in thee boxes outside the chapel and we will add them to the Chapel cranes. Or you can decorate your home. And be mindful as you make them, that many of us are making cranes. We are in this together.
And there is Advent...
And then, even as we reel from the shock of all that has happened over these last days, yet still we are in Advent; yet still Christmas is coming; yet still we are in a pandemic; yet still day follows day…. It can feel so strange at times that life is still carrying on, that we still do the things we did before.
Advent is about waiting. Waiting for the birth of a baby. And it is also a time of waiting for the day when Christ will return. That day will come, and death will be finally vanquished. We wait with expectant hearts as we know that, meanwhile - God sees, knows and loves us.
So perhaps this Advent, as you join us on Sunday at 11am - on zoom mostly, or signed up for the Chapel or a Garden Church, you will come with an expectant heart. Waiting to learn more of this God who loves us. Perhaps as you come, you will bring your sorrow, your questions, your doubts. Perhaps as you come you will bring a friend, or a neighbor. All people are welcome! All questions are welcome. All emotions are welcome. We come before a God who can take it all, and who will still reach out with arms of love to comfort and encourage us.
Do check out our Advent page to keep in touch with all that we have planned for this month, and think about how you can get involved.
Got questions? Email me!
So grateful to be your pastor