I write this today with an acute awareness of the toll this quarantine is taking on our Body and our bodies. Let’s speak to both of these realities, briefly:
The toll on our Body (church)
Most of our social interactions are on our devices at the moment. We see each other on Zoom or Marco Polo or Facetime, and this has replaced, for many, face-to-face social interactions.
I think this allows us to trade on already existing relational capital but there are limits to what these “virtual spaces” can do. Questions we will need to address in the coming weeks and months:
- How do we responsibly gather in smaller groups?
- What protocols or policies do we put in place for that?
- Do we “suggest” or “contend” or “mandate”?
Fr. Ben and I don’t want to get into the place of “policing” these guidelines, but neither do we want to be in a place where it’s a “free for all.” Continue to pray for us as we consider how to guide and discern with our Vestry and Staff how best to endure this pandemic together.
The toll on our bodies
One of the realities we need to consider is the mental health toll this is taking on our individual and families. Anxiety and depression are on the rise in our communities, and that health risk must be accounted for in how we choose to live during this time of COVID-19.
How do you experience the mental health cost in this time? Where does anxiety or loneliness manifest? What does self-care look like for you right now?
We are committed to caring for our Body and our bodies during this time. This includes loving others and loving ourselves. I know that, at times, I “love others” to my own detriment and sometimes “love myself” at others’ expense. We need each other to discern how and when to connect in a way that keeps love at the center of our ethic.
I’m thankful to be one of your priests, and I’m so grateful to be in this with all of you.