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Steeple Newsletter

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, and Confusion

by The Rev. Dr. Ginger Brasher-Cunningham on May 06, 2020

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, and Confusion (my add) = Grief structure by Kubler-Ross 
Unfolding . . . How is your day unfolding? My morning began with a couple of calls and texts. Then I brushed unruly hair, grabbed a jacket, and spilled tea as I packed up my myriad of travel mugs. I could tell that I was discombobulated because of the way eldest schnauzer Ella followed me place to place and sat beside me on each stop. 
What is happening I wondered? Then I thought, is this real? A pandemic – people afraid to breathe around each other and oh yeah - my mask, is it in my pocket? I let out a frustrated sigh as I cleaned up the tea. I gave myself the pep talk - OK shake it off – time to go – the sun is shining.

Walking to work (the whole two minute trip) I saw the empty Green and began to recall all the people who are praying, staying home to keep each other safe, and finding ways to venture out with limited exposure.
Within a matter of minutes, I had touched on various aspects in the cycle of grief - DABDAC. As my heart longs for connection and to actually see church members face to face, I am deeply appreciative for all the ways our staff is diligently working on ways to connect! Numerous members are finding ways to keep the church moving forward. 
There are folks who are protesting because church is closed. I can assure them that church is not closed! We may be juggling how to record or what Facebook live looks like or keeping a few people separate to work on the grounds, but people we are not closed!
For First Church Guilford below are a few ways we are indeed OPEN for the spirit to flow in, out, and about in this new way of being together-apart. Here is our check list these days-
-The Weekly Steeple continues on Wednesdays 
-Penelope mails the weekly service to those without technological resources
-Judi provides weekly zoom time with parents, children, and Pilgrim Fellowship
-Ginger and Jake Live (GJL) (Bible verse discussion) continues on Wednesdays 
- Stephen H. records Sunday’s services on Thursday 
-Bill offers weekly concert 
-Bill works with musicians to record their Sunday music 
-Penelope maintains church office and finance office (thank her please)
-Sandra checks in with prisons about virus and release with care
- Jake works with Paul, Chuck, Mary Jane and Bill B. to shift new systems 
-Amanda works on Facebook page
-Jake teaches confirmation by zoom
-Judi and Kate O. provide church wide game nights via zoom
-Julie F. documents First Church’s journey with poetry 
-Interviewed (by zoom) and selected new person to fill finance position 
-Penelope now assists Shannon with grocery cards 
-Members who are able are sending pledges in early
-Peter V is trimming Memorial Garden trees 
-Alison L is making the grounds beautiful 
-JB and John P are staining memorial garden benches
-Bo will place the purple DAY flags next week
-Mark built stairs, finished bathrooms, and organizing group closet space 
-Peter R is working with Carlo our fairly new Sunday sexton tasks
-We are planning Caryne’s last Sunday
-Stephen D. Anne G, Marti, Deb P. Susan, and Christine filling in gaps and providing information 
-Deacons are calling all church members
-Member-In-Discernment Deb R for offering extra phone pastoral care
-Postcards from staff are being mailed
-Deaconess/Visitors are contacting those whom they visit
-Business committee is planning project to replace Spencer House Roof
-PAJ making contacts to continue justice work by zoom/ petitions/drive up
-EMT providing opportunities for discussions via zoom
-Rescheduling memorial service and weddings
-The Mother’s Day service in between our “regular services” will be on line
-For all the ministries that are happening beyond this limited list and for all our medical, delivery, and food industry members- THANK YOU!
Hear Ye Hear Ye, the bells of First Church Guilford we will ring as we grieve together apart, celebrate together-apart, love together-apart, and breathe in the Spirit of God together- apart.
Open to the Spirit and acting on our faith is very different than being closed!

Peace in the swirl,

Read the whole Steeple Newsletter for May 6, 2020 here. 

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