First Church does a lot of BIG loving. It’s beautiful, laudable, and honorable. People are transformed, welcomed and inspired from online worship, a powerful webpage, community meals, Family Promise’s work for transition out of homelessness, Sierra Service Project’s (SSP) work making many people’s lives better, and so much more.
But never forgotten, behind all that is a community of love and support, of kindness and nourishment people give each other through First Church. It might be a ministry we can name like the Children’s Ministry crew driving to homes to provide Easter surprises or visits, it might be the choir doing great music.
But it also is in the most tender of loving actions. Today, I began my day concerned for many things, from troubling shortfalls in our income to requests from local leaders for a stronger effort at bringing climate goals into policy to working with SPR on a hire for a new Youth Ministry Director, when I found out my brother Pete had died of COVID-19.
This is the second person close to me that has died of COVID in the last three months. I was devastated. I sent cancellations out to many people who were planning to meet with me or waiting for me to send them documents.
From each person, I received a warmth, an understanding, and love that steadied my step, salved my pain, and gave me space to take time off to regroup. I won’t be ok for a bit, but I’m a lot better than I could have been.
We are. Love. First.