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I suspect and actually think it’s natural that we and countless human family members are reacting to the fears, anxieties, craze, affects, and limitations of COVID-19 asking, “Is this a test?” I definitely have asked the question and am likely to keep asking it. So far, “Yes” is the only answer I am getting. I believe it a test to see what all people, especially people of faith, might do personally and for others to cope and grow toward being our best selves.

While caring for ourselves, are we reaching out to others? Are we undertaking healthy, fun, enlightening, courageous, restorative, and sustainable in-home things that could continue post-pandemic? Are we renewing baptismal vows by tending to the Christian faith and life: worship and pray, repent of sin, proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ, seek and serve Christ in all persons, love neighbor as self, strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being. May “Yes” be or become our personal answer while others work on their own test.

With God’s help, followers of Jesus are called to entrust hope in the One who promises to never leave or forsake us and who heals all things with love. GSL is not closed during this season. Instead, we are being tested to become more open and creative in how we abide with God and walk by the faith. Let us hold the human family in prayer, care for ourselves and others by phone calls, handwritten notes, emails, video visits, and special deliveries. Let us stay focused on who and whose we are: beloved children of God - and may our prayers shape our belief that in God, all shall be well.

Faithfully, Ollie+
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector
901-252-6320 | orencher [at] gracestlukes [dot] org