Community of Christ Enduring Principles Spotlight
Unity in Diversity
One year ago today I wrote to you the sixth weekly “COVID Statement.” At the time we did not know how much longer we would need to be concerned about the pandemic. The first “statement” was dated March 4 and the last “statement” was dated April 22. As of April 29 these columns became “A Moment with the Mission Centre President” and we have tried to deal with many topics since then.
Most of the message from April 8, 2020, seems strangely relevant today. Here is the heart of that message again:
The common first question after “Hello” has become much more heartfelt and honestly intended than had been traditional before our COVID-19 social distancing: “How are you doing?” We are truly interested in the answer to that question. We want assurance that our friends and family are, in fact, staying safe and being well. They wish to know the same of us. Yet we also want to be able to express our support if the answer to the question is the expression of some kind of health issue or personal concern that has arisen in the lives of those we love.
There are families and individuals in Canada West Mission Centre, and elsewhere in the church, who have been directly touched by COVID-19 in the form of illness or job loss. I know of people who continue to struggle with various medical, physical, and personal issues not at all related to the pandemic. And in the unstoppable cycle of life, there are families among us who mourn the loss of loved ones. All of these persons and families are worthy of our prayers of love and support.
So: What have you done to keep your outlook positive in recent weeks? What good news do you seek out to assure yourself that humanity is good and that we will all get through this together? What miracle or beauty in the natural world around you gives you hope and assurance and perhaps even inspiration? What books have you read? What friends have you reached out to by phone or electronically? And, yes, what social media connections have been beneficial for you? What images, stories, or anecdotes have kept you smiling, if not outright laughing? Please email some answers to me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I may share them in the future.
That last sentence remains an open invitation.
Many provinces are moving, or have moved, back into tighter lock-down situations due to recent increases in COVID-19 cases, and especially increases in the “Variants of Concern.” In-person church services remain restricted and difficult to hold or justify in most areas. Family gatherings remain small, outdoors, and still physically distanced for most of us. We are facing another summer of cancelled church-sponsored in-person camps and reunions.
And yet – and yet – we optimistically look forward to the easing of the pandemic over the next few months. We hope we can return to something resembling “normal” by late summer or early fall.
May you feel God’s presence and blessings as we continue on this journey, now extended to well beyond a year in length.
As always, I pray for you God’s blessings of joy, hope, love, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537