I know "washing your hands "religiously" refers to the frequency of washing, but I've come to understand it differently. Because I've been singing the doxology while washing my hands.
To reach the requisite 20 seconds, you have to include the drawn out A-men at the end.
It used to be a comforting song, this ancient tradition of praise sung once a week in worship in response to our financial giving, and the words always washed over me as I raised the offering plates to the sky. I don't remember consciously singing them. It was more like I stepped into a river of the faithful who have always sung them and they flowed over me.
Singing this song of praise multiple times of day while washing my hands has changed me.
What does it mean to sing praise as I try to scrub a small deadly microbe from my hands? How do I offer gratitude in the midst of fearful cleansing? When will praise address my anxiety over an unseen contagion?
It reminds me of the Psalmist, who in the midst of suffering, or exile, sang to God. It was their go-to response. The people are taken captive, sing. Their place of worship destroyed, sing. The government overthrown and a foreign power invades, sing. Death surrounds, hope is fleeting, God is silent, sing.
And the songs question God, rail against God, doubt God and yes, praise God, even in the uncertainty of life. Perhaps, especially in the uncertainty of life. That's how I sing the words of the doxology–not ironically, but assuredly when I feel no such assurance.
Praise God with all these bubbles now, Praise God they carry virus fowl, Praise God, for all they cleanse away, Help me to know your peace this day.
Then, of course, as the repetitions go, the lyrics get more creative.
Praise those who work supporting health, Praise those at home who have no wealth, Praise all who help in any way May they be blessed, come what may.
And on the fifteen time I wash my hands it starts to get sillier.
Please God, I want my cares to flow, Down, down, with germs that go below, When will this global nightmare end? TP is low, please can you send?
The meter is 188.8.131.52 – eight syllables per line. What can you do with that?
In a world out of control, in the swirling of anxiety, in the midst of death, I've found in those few syllables of praise the strength to endure. And perhaps, a way to stay healthy.
You Are Loved
I look forward to the time when we can again meet INSIDE the church building but remember in the meantime, the church BUILDING is closed, not the church. The church is us and we're still in ministry so be a disciple, follow the gospel and our Methodist way to "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." You don't need to be inside a church building for that, in fact, Wesley would say it's better that you're not.
Main Street United Methodist Church celebrates that all persons are created in God's image and are of sacred worth. We are a faith community that welcomes and affirms persons of every age, race, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, family configuration, religious background, economic status, or developmental and physical ability. We are a community of those who seek to love God and neighbor.
"Meet and Greets" with Pastor Kelly and Steve continue: We plan to gather on the parsonage lawn but in order to comply with CDC guidelines for small groups physically distant, we're limiting the gatherings to 10 and we're asking you to bring your own lawn chair & mask (and there won't be refreshments, bummer). So you must register for a time slot (I know it's weird and a nuisance to meet your pastor this way, but this is our new normal). You may call Debra on her cell or leave a message at the office (339-223-2523 cell or 603-882-3361 office). Debra will confirm your time slot.
Thur July 16 at 5:30 - 6:20 p.m. Thur July 16 at 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Encouraging Neighbors Nora Campbell (Meredith Campbell's younger daughter) is learning about the power of One, the power of Team and the power of Community with a service project with her Girl Scout Troop who are collecting inspirational cards and new packages of socks for those without secure housing, through July 15. The collected cards and socks will be delivered to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter the week of July 20th. Here's a video summary of the project. CARDS
Cards can be store bought or handmade
Please porch drop-off or mail the cards to our home: 2 Owls Ct, Merrimack, NH 03054
Card writing tips for the homeless
Write by hand and be neat
Do not write the date
Start with "Dear Friend"
Write a kind and thoughtful message
Avoid personal or religious view
Sign your first name only, do NOT include your last name, address or phone number
Choose socks from our Amazon Wish List to be shipped directly to our troop.