We are walking on our journey through Lent. This season, we have more hardship during Lent than any other year. Now, people are fighting with COVID-19 all over the world, and the public schools, workplaces, churches, and business stores are closed. We are keeping a social distance and washing our hands. As shown below, through a letter from the Bishop of the Virginia Conference, we will continue to cancel all our worship services and gatherings until the end of April(edit note- canceled until June 10). However, we will continue to have an online live stream worship service.
"...On March 23, 2020, Governor Northam instituted more changes for the Commonwealth of Virginia, which includes the closure of K-12 schools for the rest of the academic year and the closure of "non-essential" businesses as of midnight on March 24, 2020, for 30 days. In light of these recent developments, In-person worship services are canceled on all United Methodist Church properties for the next 30 days. This includes Holy Week services. We will revisit the possibility of re-opening our churches for in-person worship on or before April 23 when the state ban is scheduled to be lifted. Meetings in the church parking lot, "drive-in" worship services, and drive-in communion are not allowed on church property during this period."
As we spend this difficult season, there's something we need to think about. We need to look back on our life through these situations. In particular, I hope to reflect on our lives through the reflection of Mr. Bill Gates which I paraphrase for you here;
Through the situation of COVID-19, we think about something important. It reminds us of the lessons that we have forgotten. We didn't look back around our life and neighbors, because we are often too busy. Through this challenging situation, we learn that health is important; it makes us know that our life is short. We learn to help each other. We have to help older people and the vulnerable. Don't value the material world. It teaches us not to stress over a thing like toilet paper; it's love and care for each other that matters. It has sent us home and made us spend time with our families.
Friends! Even if you are staying at home, please don't stay sedentary, move yourself. Take time to pray! Please, pray for civil servants, doctors, nurses, and politicians, praying for our neighbors and the elderly. Call your family, church friends, and neighbors! As our physical distance has become greater from one another we need to bring our emotional distance closer.
I hope and pray that we overcome this difficult situation together.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. San Kang