One of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson begins:
I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –
A central message about Easter is that sometimes what we assume to be impossible is not. New beginnings and “newness of life,” in Paul’s words, are possible. Six months ago, we may not have thought that a COVID vaccine was possible, but in January this year, things shifted. Three different vaccines are now approved for use in the US. All Coloradoans 16+ years old are eligible to be vaccinated. That is likely to be a game-changer for us!
What are the possibilities for us as individuals, as a church, as a wider community, nation, and world? We are being given a second chance at life…unlike the 2.85 million people who have died from COVID-19 around the world and the 555,000 people in the United States.
A few months ago, one of our members in her 20s, who was working for the Larimer County Health Department, was an early vaccine recipient, and at Coffee Hour one Sunday she said that she was aware of the privilege of having been vaccinated. That word struck me: privilege. We who have received the vaccine are privileged by dodging death one more time. We do have privilege…so what shall we do with it?
How can we take advantage of the second chance we’ve been given? What new beginnings do you see or envision sprouting in your life and in our common life as a congregation? Or as the late poet, Mary Oliver, wrote, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
You’ll be hearing more in the coming weeks from our awesome Strategic Planning Team about ways, including a Congregational Conversation on Sunday, April 11 at noon via Zoom.
Our Pandemic Team meets again this Wednesday, and I anticipate that we will have information for you soon on more occasions to see one another in person. We are keeping your safety and others’ safety first and foremost and using science (rather than wishful thinking) as the basis for our decisions.
We did have two wonderful in-person events last weekend: an outdoor Easter egg hunt (and games, including Pitch-the-Peeps-at-the-Pastor) and a drive-in parking lot service on Easter Sunday with clergy held ten feet aloft by construction scaffolding. Truly, engaging our kids, teen, and families on Saturday and seeing a host of you sitting in your cars on Sunday was one of the most energizing and uplifting experiences I’ve had in the last year.
May God help us dwell in possibility as we envision and act upon the privilege we’ve been given in this one wild and precious life.
Wishing you courage and newness of life!
The Rev. Hal Chorpenning has been Plymouth's senior minister since 2002. Before that, he was associate conference minister with the Connecticut Conference of the UCC. A grant from the Lilly Endowment enabled him to study Celtic Christianity in the UK and Ireland. Prior to ordained ministry, Hal had a business in corporate communications. Read more about Hal.