SpringHouse Joint Worship Service
There’s a musical called Rent that is a beautiful exploration of life amidst the AIDS pandemic. It chronicles the life of a ragtag community of folx- their hopes, their fears, their pain and how they hurt and love each other into life.
As I thought about what I would share for the update about what the Lyndale UCC community has been doing for the last almost exactly six months since last we worshiped together at SpringHouse, one of the songs from Rent kept going through my head.
525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes – how do you
measure a year in the life? How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.
I think one of the things that can be said about Lyndale these last six months is: 262,800 minutes, 262,000 moments so dear. 262,800 minutes- how do you measure, measure six months? In Zoom church, in Zoom meetings, in Zoom classes. In emails and auto-deposits and mute-button problems. In online memorial services and socially-distanced park lunches. In masked and distanced vigil and protest. In 262,800 minutes- how you measure six months in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.
Over the last six months, the Lyndale community has traversed the Covid-19 pandemic with a lot of love and patience and grace with one another.
We’ve collectively welcomed Alouette Joy Harness-Jimenez, born to Pastor Ashley and her wife, Angela and big sister, August.
We’ve done 27 Zoom church services, 3 Lenten Zoom prayer around the Cross with Salem, and five Wednesday Noon prayer services. We done almost 100 Zoom church meetings.
We’ve done one hybrid worship service with 25 people gathered in Elly Wagner’s garden at a safe social distance and masked and 20 people on Zoom.
We’ve supported Kathryn Lee, April and Keegan Conlee in burying Kathryn’s mother who died of Covid, and Paul Kovocavic as his father died and as both families held virtual memorial services. We’ve written cards and prayed as many other congregational members have lost chosen family and loved ones.
We’ve supported Elly Wagner as she has received a diagnosis of stage-four pancreatic cancer and Suzanne Runte with a colon cancer diagnosis.
We’ve spent many hours together considering both the tragedy and the opportunity of this moment in what Arundati Roy calls “The Pandemic as Portal.” How is this moment an opportunity to dream a world where everyone has health care and that is racially just, where everyone has a living wage and safe, affordable housing. Pandemics are often times when societies remake themselves, so how can we use this time to make a world closer to what God would have us be?
We’ve experimented with the acapella app as our choir has learned to become recording artists in their homes and we’ve delighted as Lillian Homan-Dorfman has recorded violin pieces for us to use as special music. We’ve been graced by Claire Klein’s guitar music and Paul Kovocavic’s home studio with piano.
We’ve experimented with a shared preaching series on racial and LGBTQ justice in which we played recorded new music and sermons and then broke into small groups on Zoom church to reflect. And we led an ecumenical, virtual Good Friday Walk for Justice that was filmed at B’dote, Ft. Snelling and the Whipple Building.
We’ve used photos and art of those in the community for our powerpoints to make sure we remember what we look like and what we’re up to. Including one of Keegan Conlee becoming an Eagle Scout and graduating from high school.
Several of us spent the night at SpringHouse during the Uprising to staff a first-aid station and protect the building—all the while staying masked.
And since the Uprising, we’ve spent a lot of hours at protests and vigils- many of them with our SpringHouse kindred- seeking justice for George Floyd and all those who are brutalized by police violence and praying with our feet for racial justice, for immigrant justice, for the world we have been dreaming.
Our scripture reading for this morning suggests: If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. And Rent suggests 262,800 minutes of love. As we contemplate another six months or a year of this pandemic, we pray to be the Body of Christ for one another in these ways. Amen.