This last snowstorm was frightening and beautiful. I loved watching the snow twirl and dance with the wind, leaving snowdrifts and a blanket over everything. But I was also wary of Nature’s might: I prayed for the creatures human and otherwise that were trying to shelter from the storm. I thought of all those good people, perhaps some of you, who had their vaccination appointments cancelled leaving you to have to reschedule again. And while the death rate has begun to fall from this pandemic, we are still seeing thousands of people here and around the world die every day. Every one of those deaths was someone’s loved one, taken all too soon.
Now comes the long winter. It’s a phrase I would often hear during my years in Iowa. The long winter is the time from the January thaw (mind you, thawing in Iowa meant it went above 20 degrees) and the mud season of early April. The long winters are the days that plod on even as we see a bit more sunlight each day.
One of the many tragedies we are coping with as a society in this long winter is Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence toward women, children, the elderly, transgender folks and even a few men is a brutal fact of life for millions, one made even more prevalent since the pandemic began. There is hope. There is help. This Saturday from 10 to 11:30 AM, our Safe Congregation Team is sponsoring a workshop: “Domestic Violence and How You Can Help” put on by our friends at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Norwalk. Click HERE for the press release; it’s also featured on the front page of our website.
I urge any who are interested to attend this zoom workshop. The workshop is open to the public, so tell your friends. We can make a difference in someone’s life if we act together.
Today is Groundhog Day, and Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil came out of his burrow at Gobbler’s Knob and saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter. In Iowa that would be considered an early Spring. For us, the verdict is still out. I do predict that, as the vaccines are ramped up and the death rates keep falling, this Spring will be like no other.
In the meantime, let’s stay connected. We need one another now more than ever.
Yours always, Rev. John