Covid Virus 2020
by Pastor Benjamin H. Shaw
Unadilla Friends Church
These notes were taken from a letter sent to the members of Friends Church in Rogers Hollow, Unadilla, New York from Pastor Benjamin H. Shaw.
In January 2020, what was to happen was the furthest from our minds. At Friends Church our hopes and dreams for an open house and old home day to celebrate the long years of ministry in Rogers Hollow, along with the completion of major renovations at the Community House, were shaping up. Of course all of these things were canceled.
At the end of March and early February our lives took a complete turnabout. The dreadful Corona virus, miscues between government and medical experts, and political opinion threw our nation into complete turmoil for which it was ill-prepared. In the beginning there were those who believed the pandemic was real and those who did not believe it was real. We now know that the threat and reality was and is real.
There is a quote that essentially says, “In the midst of chaos comes opportunity.” All the restrictions brought on by the virus invites the question, “What can be done and what opportunities are there available?”
From March 4th thru November 4th weekly letters and emails were sent to our church family.
On June 24th, after several months with no church service, the first ever at Friends Church drive-in-service was held using a FM transmitter, and was well attended. In October we returned to the church for our worship service, with social distancing. The service continues to be broadcast on FM93.3 to our parking lot for those who feel uncomfortable coming into the church. We will continue to broadcast via the FM transmitter as long as necessary.
One interesting tidbit is that the neighbors can also listen to the service in their living rooms.
Unfortunately the past year has been very difficult for many of our church families. We are all living in some state of fear. Where can we find comfort and hope? Let us turn to a few verses in the book of Isaiah Chapter 40 and 41. Chapter 40 conveys comfort for God’s people and Chapter 41 describes God as a helper.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
I took you from the ends of the earth; from the farthest corners I called you. I said, “You are my servant”; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
In times like these it would be easy to give up hope, but giving up hope does not solve the problem. There is a Gospel song entitled, “I’ve Been Here Before” that I cannot print because it is under copyright restrictions, but the theme is, as we look ahead into the storms of life and feel like we are being attacked, we don’t have to worry because we’ve experienced storms before, we don’t have to face the storms alone and we will be O.K. God will intervene and settle the storm; we don’t have to face the challenge alone which brings us back to Isaiah 41; so do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.