A Voice from the Village

I’m pretty confident that I’m not the first one to think of this; it may well be that someone else has already written it, and I read it, and it has remained tucked away somewhere in the back of my brain.  But as I picked up my coffee and breakfast in town this morning, it occurred to me that all the construction taking place downtown over the past few months might serve as a metaphor, though a limited one, for the disruption Covid has been causing, also over the past few months.
 
When construction began and the road was torn up, some shopkeepers decided it was the better part of valor to stay home, to close business temporarily and quarantine, after a fashion.  Others remained open, with multiple provisions and provisos in place evidenced by considerable changes of habits:  revised hours, new distancing rules, and other kinds of self-imposed (or construction-imposed) limits.  People adapted, patterns and practices changed.  And now that real progress is being made (this is where the metaphor, sadly, begins to dissolve), business is ticking upward, more shops are reopening and I’m seeing more folks in the streets – more accurately, on the sidewalks. 
 
What brought this to mind is that I’m beginning to see more, and familiar, (masked) faces in town.  As most of you know, throughout the pandemic I’ve still been stopping by The Villager and Simon’s for coffee every morning, both out of custom and a desire to do my little bit to juice the local economy.  And I am ever so sorely tempted to take up my old familiar Friday Coffice Hours once again, especially since the summer weather makes it so easy to sit outside and distance with others.
 
But I can’t yet.  Yes, the tables are set up outside, and most mornings there are seats available.  But I recognize that my presence at an outdoor table would constitute a tacit invitation to join me for coffee and conversation, which I would love, and would do while masked.  But what if two folks want to come sit and talk – or more?  I just don’t want to be the person who attracts a group, however small, to sit together for 30 minutes.  Not yet.  Do I miss it?  More than words can say.  But it’s too soon (in my judgment) and the last thing I want to do is put anyone – anyone – at risk.  So I get my coffee, chat at six feet with Mike and Kyle and PJ while waiting on my breakfast, wave to whomever is sitting outside that day, and head to work.
 
Some day.
 
One face I thrilled to see last week was Margie Warner’s as we led worship together in my back yard.  We kept our distance, but what a delight to share worship leadership and wonderful music in the physical presence of another church member!  This week Diane Adams will do the honors, and like Karli, will do so from the sanctuary.  She too has some great music lined up, as you can see in the bulletin linked below.  I’m still in the midst of our summer sermon series reflecting on my 40 years (and counting) of ordained ministry.  (And thinking of anniversaries, tomorrow, August 15, will mark our third as pastor and parish together!)

 
So I look forward to seeing you all Sunday, and seeing you all in person… when the time is right.
 
Many blessings,
 
  Alan

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