Dear First Parishers,

It was lovely to see those of you who attended our outdoor Christmas Eve carols and candle lighting. I hadn’t seen some of you in person in almost two years! And it was especially wonderful to see some of our youth. You all are growing so fast!  It was great tosing together—again something we haven’t done in person in almost two years. My thanks to Abbie Ransdell and Pat Snow for their help with getting the candles distributed. And of course, to Steve, for playing the guitar with frozen fingers.

Reflections1.jpgThe Lessons and Carols service wasn’t exactly what we had planned, as caution around Omicron caused us to postpone the live performance by the Meetinghouse Ringers. We will try again when this surge passes (which it will). But we adapted. My thanks again to Steve, and to Neil Harmon for being our worship tech person, and Eliot Mayer for being our online chat host, as well as our senior and youth choirs for their recorded contributions.

As we say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one, I hope that 2022 will be easier. But I suspect that it will bring its own challenges and we will need to keep light on our feet. With each step forward—vaccines, boosters, treatments for COVID—come a couple steps back—another variant and another surge. As we adapt, so does the virus. Our January Soul Matters Theme is “Living with Intention” which seems very appropriate. I try to be intentional each week about holding space for worship that keeps us connected within the realities of the pandemic. With the vaccine, masking, and pre-registration for in sanctuary attendance, multiplatform worship worked for the first few months. But given the rising number of COVID cases, we’ve decided this Sunday’s worship service will be online only. Steve, I and our worship tech person will be in the sanctuary but we ask that everyone else attend from home. The COVID Task Force will determine what we will do for the Sundays after that.

I am sorry to start the New Year this way but I also trust that we will move through it. `Thank you for taking such good care of one another and our First Parish community. To healthier and happier New Year!

In faith,
Rev. Ellen


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