One year ago, we were preparing for our Senior Minister, the Rev. Eric Kaminetzky, to go on sabbatical for four months. Plans were being laid–and then suddenly, there was a global pandemic, a statewide lockdown, and the very real fear that Covid-19 would reach its grip into our own congregation. Eric agreed to postpone his sabbatical for a year.
Here we are, a year later, and little did we know that we would still be enduring this pandemic. But after a year of this, we have learned some things about how to do church online, and we’ve learned a lot about how to be a community of faith during times of uncertainty. And so we send Eric off on his sabbatical with our blessings. And we welcome the Rev. Deanna Vandiver as our Sabbatical Support Minister. Deanna will pick up some of my portfolio while I serve as Acting Senior Minister.
We will be busy while Eric is resting and rejuvenating. We have an auction–our second online!-with all kinds of goods and services to bid on. We have an Annual Meeting in May, in which we will thank our volunteers and vote upon the budget and other key business of the congregation. We have a celebration of our Bridging Seniors–yes, virtually done, but no less real a celebration. And we have the work of beginning to imagine what the future holds, as we dream about who we are becoming and what we are called to do for one another and for our wider community.
One thing we do know: We are committed to the wellbeing and inclusion of everyone, and this includes our youngest children. Vaccines will not be available to children until sometime this fall, and as a religious community we are waiting to reopen until all of us have had a chance to be vaccinated. Though for those of us who are already vaccinated it may be hard to wait a few more months, our commitment to multigenerational community is one of our deeply held values.
In the meantime, we can begin to dream about the future. We won’t be going back to the past, but into whatever comes next for us as a congregation of bold-hearted people!