On March 11, Reverend Ken Baily sent the following message to the Newton Inter-Faith Clergy Association, where he is co-president:
On the morning of March 11th, one year ago, many of us gathered at Temple Shalom to hear details of the coming coronavirus from the Newton Health Department. By that day 30 people had died in the United States. Now it is over 17,000 times that many with each one a precious soul, created in God’s image, touching all of us with grief. It has been a whirlwind, a flood, a fire and a mystery all at once.
In this past year all of us have sought to learn new skills in ministry, presence, encouragement and hope. All of us have faced the challenges of self care. Few of us have known how to do everything right. But God loves us all along.
This note is to mark the year, thank you for your leadership, look forward to the times that we can unite again and prayerfully encourage you to keep the faith. There has been enormous solo work these months, but even now we are all in this together. We look forward to being together in person one day again.
Psalms 22, 23 & 24 have a movement to trace this year. The opening question to God, “why have you forsaken me” moves to the assertion that even in the valley of the shadow of death “thou art with me.” Both lead to the vision of all earth touched by God, “and the fulness –” those who dwell therein, where every hill and holy place is lifted up. “Lift up your heads,” says the Psalmist: “be lifted up.” From a place of groaning comes a song of hope as the seasons go by.
For now, please know we hold you in our prayers, value this Inter-Faith Association, and long for days of restoration and rebuilding in the place and among the people that we love.
You’ve all made it this far. Praise God. And we’ll move into the next needs together.