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Article Published April 29, 2020
In Whatever Form
Julie Fitzpatrick

I am writing with gratitude for our church, First Congregational Church of Guilford, which, like my sister’s in Old Lyme and my godmother’s in Detroit, has shifted its spiritual preparation schedule to earlier in the week so that its virtual congregations can stream their guidance and uplift on Sunday mornings.

An example of my inner monologue on those mornings goes like this: “Holy moly what day is it? Monday? Wednesday? No—it’s Sunday—I remember—it’s church—church on the screen.” Since we’ve sheltered-in-place, it’s the only day with a clear weekly ritual that’s still standing in our house. When it arrives, at 10 a.m.-ish, the three of us settle on the couch for some much needed holy breakfast. I suppose we could wait until lunchtime or even dinner, streaming whenever the sacred gnawing stirs, but we’ve been remarkably loyal to 10 and I suspect that’s because it feels like a semblance of normalcy is still in play when we do so.

The Reverend Dr. Ginger Brasher-Cunningham and the Reverend Jake Joseph have preached to us from the beach and our director of music ministry, Bill Speed, has played the piano for us from the chapel alone, while Judi Wallace, the acting director of children and family ministries, has taken us on a walk in the woods to examine faith from a different angle.

There is such loss, fear, and anxiety in the faces I see around town now as we avoid closeness, hidden by our gloves and masks, and bumble our way along the marked arrow pathways in the supermarket. Sunday brings a gift of mask-less restoration via our computer screens.

Deep thanks go to all who are involved in ministering to their congregations in whatever zoomed, filmed form that that takes these days.

Julie Fitzpatrick