Just as we settled into this season of “pause” and began to wrap our minds around the idea that we will not worship together again before May, comes the President of the United States suggesting that we should plan to be together for Easter, that this pandemic will be under control by then and it will be safe to worship.
Yesterday, noted Boston Globe veteran Peter Gammons told the story of a small church in Arkansas which believed this Covid-19 was no biggie. The church was full for their Sunday worship. Yesterday, 34 of those in attendance tested positive.
Today, the Globe reports that 138 people in Plymouth County have been tested and have the virus. They also reported that in all of Massachusetts there have been (so far) 352 cases in people over 70. Of those, 21 have died. We are not worshipping together until the Governor of Massachusetts tells us it is safe. This isn’t a political decision; it’s a public health issue.
I’m working with our Deacons on how to do Palm Sunday and Easter this year. I don’t yet have a sense as to what we might do for Easter but for Palm Sunday, here’s what going to happen: On that day, between 10 and 11 in the morning, when we usually worship, you’re invited to drive over to church and go into the parking lot behind the Hall. There we’ll have palms laid out on tables for you to pick up. I’ll be there, along with Chris Markola and Elaine Johnson, who will set things up. We’ll all stand at least six feet from each other and wear gloves… but for a moment, at least, we will be together, and you will get a palm. (For our planning, it’d be really helpful if you told us that you plan to come over by replying to this message. We want to have palms enough for everyone.)
News for today:
Governor Baker has just announced that travelers (those of you coming home from wherever) to self-quarantine when you return. Be prepared to stay home… check out the Boston Globe website for more details.
Donald Hall now has a cell phone and his number is 508-930-0051. You can send cards to him at Nemasket Healthcare Center, 314 Marion Road, Middleboro MA 02346. Donald’s kidneys are failing, and he is on hospice care. In this holy time, he welcomes your cards.
Your giving is essential in the continuation of our ministries and supports the on-going work of being church. Please send in your checks to the church at 5 Gibbs Avenue, Wareham.
Today’s song is “Lift Your Glad Voices” by the Oasis Chorale. I’ve included not only the YouTube link, but the words. As you listen remember, “the Savior has risen and we shall not die.”
Blessings, Pastor Virginia
Lift your glad voices in triumph on high,
For Jesus hath risen, and man cannot die.
Vain were the terrors that gathered around him,
And short the dominion of death and the grave;
He burst from the fetters of darkness that bound him,
Resplendent in glory, to live and to save.
Loud was the chorus of angels on high,
“The Savior hath risen, and man shall not die.”
Glory to God in full anthems of joy!
The being he gave us, death cannot destroy.
Sad were the life we must part with tomorrow
If tears were our birthright and death were our end;
But Jesus hath cheered the dark valley of sorrow;
We’ll rise from the dead and immortal ascend.
Lift then your voices in triumph on high,
For Jesus hath risen, and man shall not die.