Well, the 2 week quarantine to “flatten the curve” has now turned in to 7 weeks of waiting for everything to open or for the world to end. Our hair is longer than we’d like and some of us have either become great home chefs or have given up cooking all together. Our kids are either thrilled or horrified at the lack of in person engagement at school and those who have kept working or have employers who have made sure we’ve been paid, are very thankful.

I’ve heard that home improvement stores have made a killing and some of us have significantly upgraded our homes since we can’t go anywhere and those same stores are some of the only ones open.

Some of us can’t wait to get out and get “back to normal” while others are committing to never be “normal” again.

It’s interesting how everyone processes that same events differently and how we each take something different away from a shared experience. For me, I have been so encouraged to see the strong relationships and care that our church family has given to each other. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the interactions on Sunday mornings and even more so during the week.

You are spending time praying for each other, checking in on those who are sick (or worse) and sending uplifting messages to our small church community and I love it. While I’m ready to get back to some level of “normal” soon, I am squarely in the camp of not wanting to go back just the way it was before…

I hope you have had the opportunity to really think about some of the Beatitudes we’ve talked about so far and I hope you are beginning to diagnose some of your deepest motivations and yearnings. That’s really what the Beatitudes are about…what really moves us.

Some of you are probably wondering when we will meet again in person and to be honest, I’m not completely sure. It will likely be in June but we won’t know for sure until we see the result of people getting out and about again. It’s possible there will be a resurgence of Coronavirus cases, but it’s possible the curve has been flattened. We should know something in the next week or 2 on that front. We also know that getting together is important for any church, so we won’t delay any longer than we have to.

As we wait a little while longer, can I encourage you to do a few things?

1. Mother’s Day is this weekend. Let’s make sure our Moms know they are loved. If you will email or text a short video for your mom/wife/etc, we will show them during our livestream this Sunday.

2. Continue to pray for Kathleen Cunningham. She is making some incredible process but she still has some challenges and is not out of the woods yet. Your care for the Cunningham family has been quick and overwhelming. Thank you for loving so well.

3. Host a watch party on Sunday mornings or share the services on your own Facebook account. Let’s continue to utilize this great resource for connecting with those who are struggling right now.

4. While we will go back to some level of normal, some things that have been developed over these last few weeks will be the new normal for us. If you would be interested in learning some of the ins and outs of video production, this will continue to be a part of what we do in the future. You can email mark@journeychattanooga.com and we will setup some training once you are ready.

5. Let’s continue to be encourages and hope sharers during this time.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone together again but until that happens, let’s continue to care for our community well.

Pastor Mark

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