As I write, peaceful protests in defense of black lives continue to grow in cities and towns in all 50 states. I think this is good news. And I pray for those who continue to put their bodies on the line for justice.

Violence committed against protesters by police, egregious and unnecessary, is being recorded and reported. I think this is good news. And I pray for the victims of that violence. I pray that those who perpetrate it will be held accountable for it. And I pray that their hardened hearts will one day soften.

The three officers who witnessed George Floyd’s death have now been charged, and the charges against the officer who killed him have been upgraded. I think this is good news. And I pray for justice in this case and also for the families of those many others killed before for whom no justice has yet come.

There is still much that is uncertain and so much more that must be accomplished for “justice to truly roll down like water.”

Meanwhile, we have been watching the unfolding political showdown between our elected and appointed leaders. I wake up every morning wondering what is afoot, and my mood swings almost hourly between degrees of hopefulness and degrees of despair. I have a feeling this chaos and uncertainly will continue and only increase in its intensity between now and November. And all of this amid a continuing global pandemic. It is sometimes hard to believe this is all happening, hard to maintain perspective, hard to stay centered, calm, and focused.

So, I wonder, how are you doing? How is it with your soul? Are you doing the things that are necessary to help stay calm and tend your spirit? Do you even know what those things are? Are you finding ways to connect with others? Are you finding time apart for yourself?

I continue to hold 2-3 Community Check-in sessions each week in the afternoons and evenings. I know some of you are finding them very helpful, and I am glad. They can be wonderful opportunities to connect with people you may not already know well. I also want to remind you that if you’d like to arrange a time to talk with me, you’re welcome to do that, and we can set up a time to talk by phone or zoom.

Additionally, as we head into the summer and begin to plan for fall, I’m also wondering if there are other ways that would be helpful for you to connect using zoom…focused discussion topics, book discussions, grief circles, adult religious education opportunities…and I’d love to hear your ideas.

The Parish Committee has begun to talk about future planning given the reality of COVID-19. The building will continue to be closed through the summer. Summer worship services will be online at 10:30 most Sunday mornings through the summer. Note that this is a change of time from previous years. You’ll be receiving more information about summer services in the

coming weeks. There is some possibility for potential small-group outdoor gatherings on church grounds, and more information and guidelines regarding such gatherings will be forthcoming from the Parish Committee.

I hope that you are finding ways to stay connected with one another and with the First Parish Community. Please reach out by email if I can be of help. And I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Rev. Wendy