Well now!! Dear Friends, what a time we find ourselves in.

All around us there is change and challenge; all around us there are people afraid and anxious, who need our care right now, in a time when we are paralysed and unable to reach out in the ways we normally would. Today’s Friday Festival shares a handful of blogs with them same underlying theme – what to do in these days.

Our blog writers have risen to the challenge and there were many to chose from… but, here is a small selection that appealed to me.

My first offering comes from Appalachian Preacher, who lives in Idaho. I have no first hand experience of Mr Rogers, growing up in the UK he was not on our radar; but AP writes all the things I have been thinking, I’m sure you’ll find her post, Crisis-Week 10, resonates. Her theme is my theme: “Mr. Rogers… wanted to show us that we can choose love and compassion even in crisis”. she continues linking Mr R and Jesus:

“Jesus’ (and Mr. Rogers’) self-sacrifice was made possible by their ability to love other people. The more I learn to love others the more I realize love isn’t actually a feeling. It’s a choice. We choose to love others–it can be easier to make that choice with some people than with others. Regardless of how easy or difficult it is, we still have the choice”.

My next offering comes from Traci Smith, she has done some of the hard work for us, collating a great list of 100 ideas of things to do in these days. Thank you Traci – these are so useful!

turn it on its side – its a heart I created on the beach with pebbles and seaweed! Love in all things

I offer no apologies for quoting from a friend for the next blog to go to! Marci Glass and I are good friends, we have stayed in each others’ homes and preached in each others’ churches. Distance is no barrier to good friends. In her post Marci has links to many of the Facebook posts and links that I would have added here, so that’s a great help – go look at Church in the Time of Corona, follow the links and read her wisdom, and honesty, as she puts into words what is on my heart too, “I will miss being in worship in person with the people I love. I became a pastor because I love God’s people and I love worshiping together. I deeply feel this is the best decision we could make for us, but I grieve it too”.  In my church, we have just cancelled one service, and we are taking steps to plan ahead for when we too are advised to close the doors, with love and care for each other.

I have one more offering for you, if you have read all of the above, you most likely now need some Joy in your heart, Sister Sarah thanks so too! She shared this fabulous flashmob of Ode to Joy – enjoy!

My friends, we are living in unprecedented days; the world is under siege with a pandemic never seen before. In all these things, we can still make choices. We can choose love. We can choose calm. We can choose to pray and find ways to share God’s love that keep us safe and share holy care for the most vulnerable in our communities.

God go with you, wherever you go.

Julie Rennick is a Church of Scotland Parish Minister serving a busy community in the heart of Scotland. She lives with her beloved and two mad Sprocker Spaniels who keep her grounded when all around is up in the air.

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