For decades Steve and I have tied our vacation time and travel to college football bowl games, specifically the appearance of the horned frogs in a bowl game. We've always supported our team, even when studying at Texas Christian University, but back then there was no promising post-season games. Growing up in Texas, football is a big deal and as a cheerleader and drill team member I had responsibilities at each game to cheer teams on and entertain at half-time.
Bowls games have taken us to Alabama for the coldest game on record, Arizona, Texas, Boston (the year we watched the game with fellow alumni) and Pasadena (the Rose Bowl was my favorite because those floats are amazing up close and smell fantastic).
So, this week, when college football conferences cancelled their fall seasons (or delayed them to spring), I took notice. Sports commentator James Brown said on the morning news that it is "always better to err on the side of safety and welfare" when making decisions about a virus where new information is coming out daily. His latest concern was not just the deaths, or the ongoing lung concerns for those coming off ventilators, but the new information about the permanent damage to hearts of those with milder cases.
Your re-entry team has been working hard to keep up-to-date on the latest information regarding infections and the ever-changing guidance from the state authorities about safety protocols that must be in place for re-opening – these are not our creation but the law. And even in the case of one local church who was trying to abide by the guidelines, there has been an outbreak causing much regret and heartbreak for the church leaders.
We appreciate your patience and graciousness as we continue to find ways to be together while apart and plan for a time when we might gather again in the sanctuary. We have outdoor services planned on Communion Sunday, Sept 6 at 8 a.m. in the front garden, and a Rally Day celebration at Greeley Park on September 13 at 10:30 a.m.
A survey of our members will help the team assess your needs and an all-church zoom meeting will give us a chance to answer questions and share concerns. Please participate in both. In all of this we appreciate your flexibility and prayers as together we find our way forward.
Worship Visuals Look for two "Eyes of God" in our woodland scene this Sunday. They may bring back a memory if you ever made one from sticks and colorful yarn at summer camp or Vacation Bible School. According to several internet sites, these were first made by the Huichol indigenous people of Mexico and were religious symbols for them. The four points represented water, air, fire and earth. The center was the portal for people to connect with the spiritual world. When Roman Catholics arrived in Mexico from Spain in the 1500's they named them "ojos de dios": eyes of God. We have adopted them as a Christian symbols with the base representing a cross.
The latest option to help us all stay connected in this time of physical distancing is our "Virtual Coffee Hour" starting right after Sunday Worship (approximately 10:30am). Stop by the Vestry and catch up with your friends (bring your own coffee and snacks).
The virtual rooms are via Google Meet and don't require Facebook at all, and may be attended by phone, by app on iPhone/iPad/Android/or by Computer. Access information is below. If you need some hints at using Google Meet there are some instructions and screen shots at https://www.mainstreet-umc.org/activities/coffee-hour that might help you get acclimated.
The Deadline for submissions for the September Print Mainstreeter is next Wednesday August 19th. Please send any submissions to Debra in the Church office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminders: 1. Please remember to send calendar dates for meetings/events to Debra in the Church office so that she can update the Church calendar. 2. Please remember to mail any correspondence to the new Church mailing address: P.O. Box 1517 Nashua N.H. 03061