connection

Rev. Lydia

Yesterday, in the message, I spoke of the concept of alchemy that I heard from Rev. Lydia. Today I want to share her post that deals with that. (If you want to follow her, it’s revlydia.com, and she’s AWESOME.) I changed the format of the poem at the end to better fit this space. I hope you love all of this like I do.

“During this season of Lent, a discipline of not gathering with others has been imposed upon all of us. Regardless of whether or not some of us are introverts, humans are pack animals in that we are most happy when we are connected with others. And for a lot of my congregants for whom Sunday morning church is their one weekly opportunity to see and touch others, isolation is more dangerous for their health than any disease. 

But many of you who’ve been reading my writing for a while know that I believe we need to learn the art of alchemy to experience continual joy in our lives, especially in the most dire of circumstances. I share about this in my blog post here, in my marriage essay here, and in my workbook, Elevate Your Joy and Purpose here.

So if I ignite my powers as an alchemist, I can already see the base metal turning into gold by recognizing the following gifts within this situation:

• We have to slow down.

• We get to spend more time with our families. My friend told me that this lockdown has facilitated such good conversations with her husband, reminiscent of their dating years before the chaos of children and careers rushed in. 

• We realize how deeply connected the entire globe is to one another. 

• We travel less, hopefully making less impact on our environment by reducing our carbon footprint. 

• We can get our house in order by doing some organizing, cleaning, etc. 

• We can reach out to one another in creative ways. 

A congregant sent me this moving poem along this exact theme. 

Pandemic What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath— the most sacred of times? Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is. Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life. Center down. And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart. Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful. (You could hardly deny it now.) Know that our lives are in one another’s hands. (Surely, that has come clear.) Do not reach out your hands. Reach out your heart. Reach out your words. Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch. Promise this world your love– for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as we all shall live. -Lynn Ungar 3/11/20”

Times Like This

There will be NO Bridge community events or activities (No Sunday services, No book studies, etc) until further notice.

*These are interesting times and, while religious services do not fall under last night’s wider shutdown, just because we can doesn’t mean we should. So, sadly, we think it is the wise and responsible thing to do to temporarily suspend our gatherings. Please listen to the experts and agencies and stay inside, as much as you can. This is not forever. I am hopeful that after we see an expected rise in cases, we will see that the measures taken will result in less and less impact and we’ll back to our lives. 
But for now, going forward as a community… 

*Sunday at 10:30am, I will give the next message in the Ruth series as planned on 3 platforms: Facebook Live (on the Bridge Faith Community page), YouTube Live (on my ‘personal’ page – search Chad Slabach and you’ll see the Bridge logo), and we will record the audio as usual and post on the website afterwards. It might look and feel different, and I hope it’s something I don’t get time to get too polished on, but for now, we’ll keep moving forward there. 

*I think it’s REALLY important in times like this (though there aren’t too many ‘times like this,’ are there?) to stay connected, as much as we can, and continue our spiritual growth, continue to encourage each other and be this community. We’ll all go through many different emotions and, though we are apart, we don’t have to be isolated. 

That’s all for now. Join me at 10:30 Sunday morning and we’ll continue our dive into these beautiful Scriptures and, in particular, this book of Ruth that has already given us so much.  

Stay safe!!! Love. Peace. chad. 

P.S. I’ll include, from my last email, a message about what we can do in the midst of this uncertainty:  “But do try to stay connected; reach out, call someone, send emails, any way you can, avoid the isolation and loneliness that can come in times like this. Stay connected to your families, your church brothers and sisters, co-workers, neighbors. Take the time. Read your Bible, write in a journal, watch a Facebook Mini, start a book (even one that may or may not be called Chronicles, Nehemiah, and Other Books Nobody Reads;), play a game, listen to new music, eat some great food, call someone, write me a nice long email about you, sleep, exercise, eat well, drink water, and of course, wash your hands, be mindful and present, give yourself a break, give yourself permission.  I don’t believe this State of emergency is the “new normal” at all, but I think that sort of connection and care should be. I hope I see you often and hear from you often-er.”