When our state first went under stay at home orders in March, none of us could have imagined that over three months later our state would be the hotbed of rising coronavirus cases. We could not have imagined the stress on our healthcare workers, chaplains, and other support staff in hospitals lasting this long. We could not have imagined going this long without dinner with friends, parties to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, or gathering in worship. And yet, here we are. And we are not done yet. We have no certain way of estimating when cases will subside, no certain way of knowing when human interactions will once again  include a handshake or an embrace.

As a result, many feel tired, weary, uncertain, anxious, or trapped. Some cannot find words to describe how they are feeling while others feel an empty void and find it hard to get anything done. If any of this describes you, please know that you are not alone. We are in this together. The FCC elders and I are available to you for conversation, prayer, and connecting you to resources you may need at this time. Our Mind Wholeness ministry also continues to offer spiritual support group meetings on two Mondays of each month. These meetings are open to anyone seeking support while experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. Additionally, free crisis counselors are available 24/7 through the Resilient Arizona program by dialing 2-1-1. Finally, you are a resource, too! When you make a call or send a text to let someone know you are thinking about them, praying for them, or checking in to see how they are doing, you can be the encouragement needed to get through the day.

Friends, we are in this together. And there is one thing I know for sure: the body of Christ at FCC knows how to care and offer compassion. Whether to one another or beyond this faith community. This gives me hope that we can strengthen and nurture each other, such that we can continue our witness of God’s grace, love, and justice for the world.