At the St. John’s Women’s Retreat earlier this month, just prior to the recommendations for physical distancing, we were able to enjoy community, love, joy in nature by the ocean, each other’s company, and Rev. Jane Hague’s leadership of our worship and study. We experienced spiritual poems by the late Mary Oliver from her last collection, entitled “Devotions.” God was with us and each other, as we felt the manifestation of joy based on love in the place of judgment. Jane’s teachings about finding closeness to God through poetry, nature, and community brought home the meaning of all of us being parts of a whole.
As we join together in adapting to the current pandemic, Rev. Rob Fisher’s revision of the term “social distancing” to “physical distancing” brings us the inspiration and challenge to connect virtually, through computer and phone, and to know in our hearts and spirits that we are, indeed, one humanity, striving to help each other, making sacrifices for the protection of ourselves and others.
Today’s readings emphasize the need to understand the meaning of safety, love and support, rather than judgment of each other. The stories of Susanna and Daniel, Jesus and the woman saved from stoning in today’s Gospel. and God’s enveloping love in the 23rd Psalm provide “food for thought” as we rise to the challenge of our current circumstances. We are fortunate to have the S. John’s community for spiritual guidance and mutual support in this time of worldwide challenge.
Andrea L. Charters
Assigned readings for today: