Simon’s Sorta Says ~ from Alan

In the 1947 film, “Miracle on 34th Street,” a small child sits on Santa’s lap in Macy’s Department Store.  When the child asks for a Christmas gift that isn’t available at Macy’s, Santa tells him that Gimbles, Macy’s chief competitor, has it in stock.  At first, the CEO of Macy’s is appalled that Santa is sending shoppers to a rival, but when customers begin praising Macy’s for such a magnanimous gesture, both stores understand this kind of collaboration benefits both organizations and are happy to share their clientele.

I’m not writing this from Simon’s this morning, and it is only partly because the present pandemic has closed the dining-in aspect of restaurants.  I learned the other day that both Simon’s and next-door-neighbor The Villager have taken a page from Macy’s and Gimbles (at least the movie versions).  The Villager is open for breakfast and Simon’s for lunch, which I think is a wonderful gesture of collaboration in days when customers are scarce to begin with.  It is a type of altruism that you and I are seeing quite a lot in these difficult days of COVID 19.  I’d be interested to learn what you are seeing in your own neighborhoods.

Speaking of collaboration, our church staff just finished a dry run for Sunday’s service, and the good news is that our Music Director Karli Gilbertson will be with us (virtually, of course) to provide music at the beginning of worship.  Tomorrow I’ll be sending out an abbreviated church bulletin for Sunday:  among other things, we’ll be singing “Be Thou My Vision,” praying the 130th Psalm and considering an unusual story of healing that you can find in Mark 8.22-26.  It may well be the only occasion in the gospels where Jesus tried to heal someone and didn’t quite get it right the first time!  We hope you’ll join us.

Last Sunday morning my Dad (who lives with us, as most of you know) asked what he could do to help out with our first virtual service, which streamed from my dining room.  And as soon as he asked the question, a smile of inspiration crossed his lips:  “I know!” he exclaimed.  “I’ll stand at the door and collect the offering!”  It was a funny moment, and I include it just to remind you that you are welcome to place your own offering in the mail (or have your bank take care of it electronically).  Barring that, Dad will be at the door again this week.

See you Sunday!

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