This Sunday is Laity Sunday. Almost the entire worship service will be conducted by lay members, five of whom will share aspects of their faith journey and the value of belonging to our church community. Few things compare to being part of a family of people who claim, care, and receive one another with goodness, love, and hope.

This morning, I want to share a reflection written by another member about her experience participating in a small group these past 7 months. I think you will be inspired by her words as I continue to be.

As a retired, single senior with most of my family situated out of town, our PAUMC Small Zoom Group has provided a much appreciated weekly rendezvous with other church members. To me, it has become a place where we can share our personal challenges during this global pandemic, a place where we might seek and provide both secular and spiritual support.

 

Who are we? Small in number but diverse and dynamic, we have had six members with three or four of us at each meeting. Including age-wise, we are young adults up to one senior, myself. We live in three or four different neighborhoods and in two boroughs of NYC. We or our family members come from or are in multiple states or different countries. We represent the temporarily unemployed, partially employed, full-time employed and retired. As does our diversified church, even our small group provides a rich mixture of advice, support, observations and opinions. What a weekly treat this is.

 

This group has given me the opportunity to deepen some friendships and make new ones. It continues to be a great source of unique information and news whether from our own neighborhoods or from locales across the country and around the globe.

 

Among our members, two are wives and mothers with school age children who provide us with personal insights into the variety of educational options our city’s children are experiencing. Two participate in peaceful political activism. One is a very active and knowledgeable union member, a member of our church council as well as being a newly minted NYC poll worker whose first time working will be in our upcoming election in November. How interesting all of this is to hear about each week.

 

As for the challenges we have faced and shared, one employed member has kept us informed of her search for a better job, the long “virtual” slough of online interviews, presentations, disappointments and rejections, with none of us knowing how this would evolve. Then finally she found a superb position with a vibrant company, a position where her exceptional education, experience and intellect all seem to be recognized. What a thrill this has been for all of us.

 

For me, I had to have outpatient hand and wrist surgery in August. As a senior who has been blessed with never having to have surgery before, this was a very big deal and quite daunting. But, who to the rescue? Three of the four people who helped or were available to help me are PAUMC women church members and two of those are in our Zoom Group! On the day of my surgery especially, our group’s thoughts and prayers must have been plentiful and very effective because the surgery went most smoothly, my hand is improving everyday and I am now benefiting from lots of physical therapy.

 

So here is my question for all of you reading this. How many blessings do you think have bubbled up, in and out, of our Small Zoom Group? I have no idea myself but I do realize that, like the “loaves and fishes” story, the blessings continue to multiply and ripple across our lives.

 

Thank you for the PAUMC Small Zoom Groups.

 

Jan Kenyon
September 16, 2020

Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy