Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family,
I am praying for you and holding you close in my heart during this time of separation. If you were able to attend parking lot worship last Sunday, I hope that you experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit. If you haven’t had a chance to worship with us yet, you can access the video either on the church’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.
I confess that I was surprised by the number of texts I received on Sunday morning in response to the question, “What does it feel like to be in exile?” I was also grateful that so many of you were willing to share difficult and even painful feelings. If I were to generate a word cloud out of the texts I received, the largest word found right in the middle of the cloud would be LONELY. There are lots of folks in our congregation who feel lonely, and they are not just people who live alone—lonely people may live in households with children; they may have family members who live close by. People who shared that they feel anxious and afraid may not be the people who appear anxious and afraid.
Many of you have contacted me to share that you were surprised and sad and worried that so many people among us shared that they were lonely, afraid, and scared. Some of you asked what you should do about it. My sense is that it would do a world of good if each of us would reach out to someone to say hello, to ask how they’re doing, to see if there’s anything that you can pray about on their behalf. The lonely and forgotten are among us, and they come from all sorts of households and are in the middle of all sorts of circumstances. In fact, our best practice as disciples of Jesus has always been to assume that everyone we encounter is in need of a word of encouragement, an inquiry into their well-being, and an assurance that they are not alone. That is true now more than ever. So instead of waiting until we encounter someone by chance, let’s make it our practice to make encounters happen by a phone call or a text or a special delivery of a sweet treat to someone’s porch.
I am grateful to serve God with all of you! Mary Beth