In March 2020, the cessation of live worship due to the pandemic was sudden and personally painful. Although much of my work at Grace is in business, my heart and soul are strongly connected to people who praise God with their voices and instruments. It isn’t just the ‘end product’ that feeds me; it is the relationships with people; digging deeply to discover and reveal what each song has to say; and working with others who joyfully share their creative gifts - their unique Imago Dei (image of God) - to express our collective faith in meaningful and memorable ways.
When our pastors decided to “go remote,” we were half-way through Lent. I had just finished leading the third of six rehearsals with an ecumenical choir, preparing for a concert that included a premiere and a jazz mass that was planned as a celebration of the joy of grace promised at the end of our journey toward the cross. All of a sudden, everything just STOPPED. No music. Nichts. Nada.
When it became clear live music making would not happen for the foreseeable future out of an abundance of concern for each other, I explored virtual possibilities. I also worried because mastering new technologies is not one of my gifts. My husband, Graham, took the first step forward, saying, “If you organize it and find people to participate, I will help make it happen.” Hours normally spent rehearsing were suddenly invested in finding and creating arrangements for our music-making members – adults and youth – so they could share their gifts virtually (and legally, considering copyright issues). I felt surrounded by angels as people signed up to participate.
Some of you may be familiar with the Lucas Cranach painting of Martin Luther in a pulpit, pointing toward Jesus so people would give the honor and glory to God and not to Luther for his words. This rings true for music: Soli Deo gloria: “to the glory of God alone.” Thanks to many angels at Grace (including my husband) who continue to create a colorful palette of sound, all for the glory of our Creator and Redeemer.
One of my favorite Bible passages is Phillippians 4:6 - “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” I called for musical angels and God answered by sending them!
In March, a few years ago, I was the executrix of my sister in law's estate whose residence was in another state. After 7 months of work, sale of her three houses had closed the day before. Around 5 p.m. I found that I couldn't catch my breath. I thought that was odd because I hadn't been doing anything physically strenuous.
I called 911. I was transported to the nearest hospital. After a CT scan the ER physician told me I had a massive Pulmonary Embolism, and they couldn't handle it at that hospital. Around midnight I had a hospital transport to a level one trauma center. I was taken directly to the ICU. A heparin drip was immediately started along with instructions that under no circumstances was I allowed to set foot on the ICU floor. I also had bilateral DVTs. They told me I would be there for 7 to 10 days. I told them no, I have to go home tomorrow. I have to feed my dogs.
Later that morning I learned that one of the estate beneficiaries was suing me. I had to provide an immediate estate accounting and not disburse any payments for estate bills. I couldn't even stand up let alone gather the required information.
I recalled the words of Matthew 6:25-26:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
A minister from the church I attended in Virginia paid me a visit. He prayed with me and brought me a prayer shawl. When he put the shawl around my shoulders, I immediately felt safe, and peaceful and loved. I knew immediately that everything would be all right.
My neighbors came to my house and took care of my dogs. I was out of the hospital in 3 days. The judge told the beneficiary to back off. My dogs raced around my house for an hour when they returned home. A settlement was reached with the estate beneficiaries.
Leave your burdens with God.
“Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.”
This verse from Micah was one of George Washington’s favorites. He used it so much that it became one of Washington’s lines in the musical Hamilton. While the pandemic has allowed my family many viewings of Hamilton, the scripture verse speaks to me of this past summer.
With many vacations, like the beach and family reunions, being canceled, we decided to vacation in our own backyard, under our own trees. For this, we set up a tent, a tarp dining fly, a campfire ring and tripod, and a hammock. This was camping week. Every meal was cooked over the fire or camping stove. Hikes were taken. Knots were tied. S’mores were enjoyed. We lived the week outside.
While not the glistening sands of the beach nor the warm hug of a long-awaited family member, there was beauty in the simplicity. The bright spot I would like to share is the beauty of the backyard. Every evening, one of my children would borrow my cell phone and climb their playset house. There they would then spend the next thirty minutes watching the sunset and taking selfies together. This became their ritual. Their daily wonder at the sky as day turned to night marked the time for us each night. This would not have been possible if we had been running to and fro from activity to program and back. The simple enjoyment to “sit under our own vine and fig tree” was enough to fill us and to hear God saying, take the time.
When it became evident that the pandemic, stay at home, social distancing policy was not going away soon, I starting to think what I could do to help people who felt isolated.
Ever since my husband and I moved to the Village, I made weekly visits to the Atrium (nursing home that is here at the Village at Penn State).
Now that we became more isolated, the new rules were “No visitors allowed!” So, I started to write short chatty notes of encouragement most always including scripture like, “Jesus promised He will never leave us nor forsake us.” Hebrews 13:5. “The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deut. 33: 27. “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious ..think on these things and the God of peace will be with you.” Phil. 4:8,9. Also words from hymns that I learned by rote as a child but are very meaningful to me now. Example - Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.
A month or two after the virus hit, I had a call from a friend from church asking if I would contact a few church members weekly to encourage them through the virus epidemic. Of course, my answer was a resounding, “YES, I would be very happy to make weekly calls.” So, I was up and running! I like to think my weekly calls are helping them. They are certainly helping me.
My heart as always been in social ministry at Grace Church. Then, after my surprising mild stroke, several years ago, I didn’t know where I fit! So, I like to think my calls are encouraging to the folks I call weekly, and they are certainly helping me. In my small way I have a deep desire to tell everyone that Jesus loves us, He will never leave us, and that the Virus will soon be gone, and through it all we will have a stronger relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”
Water as soft, fluffy flakes floated down from the sky, lightly at first and then with more and more intensity determined to blanket the earth in its protective and nourishing cover. “Let’s go out and shovel a bit to stay on top of this”…”Let’s go out again to shovel some more”…”Let’s go out one more time before bed”…. Then the sun arose on a sparkling white landscape of water formed as individual crystals interconnected to become one. Snow lay over a foot deep. That Saturday we grabbed our cross-country skis and walked over to Tudek Park.
Cold air brightened our cheeks and filled our lungs. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, was the only soft sound heard in the peaceful landscape as our skis skimmed over the hard packed tracks of others.
My daughter Renee said, “Let’s find some hills to ski down!”
My husband Tony packed up a snowball and threw it at me. Then, wisely turned and threw snowballs for the dog to chase.
“Come on, Kirby” I said as I skied back up the hill after noting another dog coming along walking with its owner, but Kirby had other plans and with his flexi-leash secured around my waist pulled me backwards down the hill as I tried in vain to balance on my skis. “POOF” into the snow I fell receiving a cold dose of it under my sweater. But the landing was soft and forgiving, so I laughed as I stood up.
Water as snow was everywhere, creating a peaceful atmosphere, supporting our skis, catching me when I fell, adding to our fun, and over time as it melts it will become our drinking water stored below ground. We went out seeking and came home feeling fulfilled.
Prayer: Dear Lord, when we go out seeking you, please help us to find you. May our lives be fulfilled when we focus on the gifts you have provided for us. Please help us know the joy of sharing that gift with others as a community.
“So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
I lace up my shoes, cue up an audio book, grab a mask, and step out our front door. From there, the choices are endless—do I turn right or left onto Westerly Parkway? Do I walk the golf course path leading me under canopies of trees and where the same thickets which safely harbor wintering birds will offer up summer blackberries? Do I walk to Good Day Cafe for a takeout cup of coffee or head to Weis Market to pick up a few groceries? Do I travel along Blue Course Drive past schools and playgrounds or weave my way through nearby neighborhoods of countless sidewalks and unlimited routes? Do I walk through Holmes Foster Park and delight in a backyard view of an amazing yard sculpture fashioned from a collection of balls of all sizes artfully arranged on poles of varied heights?
In my travels I pass dog walkers, runners, children on scooters, families on bikes and even an intrepid member of Grace who daily pushes her walker three miles. From our social distances, people wave, nod, smile, or speak a few words and those small human connections are so gratifying. I patronize Little Free Libraries, rest on benches, observe the changing of the seasons, check out gardens, admire historic architecture and enjoy following home improvement projects. I recall childhood friends who grew up in homes I pass, and my mind drifts back to tender memories.
With the pandemic practices of staying home, masking, social distancing and the halting of the ways we previously gathered, the parameters of my personal world have shrunk. It is easy to slip into a myopic view of life, one where the universe spins primarily in my own little orbit.
But when I put on those walking shoes and step outside into the light of day, suddenly the world expands as my attention is drawn into the larger life humming all around me. Mindfully walking through this world God has created offers me bright spots of peace, grace and hope. And for that, I am most grateful.
Ellen Herman Campbell
“You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.”
From an early age, my daughter, like most daughters I suspect, had very firm expectations about the wedding she would one day have. In addition to the presence of the man of her dreams, it would take place at an equally dreamy exotic destination and be marked by fine food, fashionable attire, and perfect photos.
But in the midst of those dreams, 2020 and the pandemic descended like a dark cloud. Annika had indeed secured the man of her dreams, but all of the planning for a wedding in Barbados had fallen to pieces. Travel had become restricted and dangerous. The dream was becoming a nightmare.
And so we did what countless other families did during the pandemic: we planned, replanned, and then replanned some more. The date, wedding venue, reception venue, reception menu, and even guest list changed up until the final weeks. We all wondered if anything memorable or meaningful could ever come from such chaos.
To our great surprise, however, we discovered a gift – a true bright spot - in the midst of all that disruption. The wedding was not what my daughter had expected, but precisely the wedding she and all of us needed. It took place not on the white sands of Barbados but within the soaring white walls of Grace Lutheran. It wasn’t performed by a resort officiant but by the bride’s very proud father. The attendance was extremely small in light of COVID gathering restrictions, but grandparents without the means to travel to Barbados could now be part of that special day. The reception didn’t feature grilled fish in a Caribbean setting, but a pizza bar at Tussey Mountain. And you know what? None of us – daughter included – would have changed a single thing. It was perfect.
There is much about 2020 and the pandemic that I would prefer to forever forget. But I will never forget that magical wedding day. It will remain a constant reminder to me that we cannot make an idol out of our plans and our timing. Instead, we can trust God to provide a way and a time that will bless in ways that are beyond our limited vision. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming…but I pray that God’s perfect dreams will always supersede my own.
Imagine the Horn grandchildren – all nine of them, ages 1-9. They all live within fifteen minutes of each other and get together to play often. And then, seemingly overnight, the world changed.
No longer do they go to school, to church, to daycare, to the playground, or get together with cousins. All of them, except for the one-year-old, knew things just were not right anymore. They just kept hearing, “we can’t do this because of the coronavirus.” I cannot imagine how a four-year-old, a five-year-old, a six-year-old can understand all of this.
And now Mom and Dad are home all day, looking at their computer screens, and saying they need to get work done. It is a day of zoom meetings, phone calls, planning projects, writing reports, databases – all with the background chatter of the children at home. Ok, sometimes it was more than background chatter – more like distractions, interruptions, melt-downs – what a challenge for all of them! Often the parents ended up working late-night hours after the little ones were in bed just to keep up with work deadlines.
Then came the bright spot – “Story Time with Aunt Gina.” In pre-pandemic times, when the cousins would get together, they were often gathered around Aunt Gina, who was reading books to them. She loved taking the time to pick out books that would reflect the certain celebration, or that she thought the kids would love.
It was during the pandemic that Gina had the idea to have a zoom call just for the children. It would be a special time for them. At noon on Saturdays, they would all join the zoom call, and Aunt Gina would read books to them. They could follow along with the books projected on the computer screen. She pulled up her Kindle app and rummaged through the free library to find books that would lighten the mood. The type of books that would inspire their little imaginations and make them laugh. It was like having lunchtime theater. It also gave them a time to see each other. The story time would always turn into a time where the cousins could just talk and share what they had been doing that week. It was their happy hour. It’s that bright spot during this pandemic that I truly hope they will take with them.
“Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
Sally Horn and Gina Horn
As I write this devotional, it is another “bleak, mid-winter” day–gray, cold, and with the threat of an ice storm. How challenging these days of winter and the pandemic have been!
With the arrival of the stay-at-home order last March, many of us were suddenly housebound and isolated. The new circumstances turned my thoughts to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem “The Snowstorm.” In it, he describes the storm’s arrival with “whited air” that hides the hills and woods, and its impact: “The sled and traveler stopped, the courier’s feet/Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit/Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed/In a tumultuous privacy of storm.”
In the long months that followed, the world seemed to stop, and we were all at home in a “tumultuous privacy of storm.” With that, I slowly understood, could come some unexpected pleasures–if only I embraced them. And so I tried. I turned inward to find some joy: reading, walking, meditating, baking. Each Sunday I “attended” church via the new technology, finding comfort in inspirational messages that carried me through the week. Through it all I stayed in touch with friends, exchanging photos and writing long emails reminiscent of letter writing. I realized that “sauntering” can be a good thing, that being alone can encourage introspection, that a solitary walk is a gift, and that I am not alone because God is always with me. I was profoundly grateful for my cocoon and what I discovered.
As the crisis escalated, however, my thoughts turned to others, to those who were struggling with isolation but also with so much more. For them, my heart ached. What could I possibly offer? It was at this time I read a poem, “I Will Light Candles This Christmas,” by theologian and civil rights activist Howard Thurman, which inspired me. (Respectfully I changed Christmas to Lent to reflect this time of year.)
I will light candles this Lent,
Candles of joy despite all the sadness,
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch,
Candles of courage for fears ever present,
Candles of peace for tempest-tossed days,
Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens,
Candles of love to inspire all living things,
Candles that will burn all year long.
The notion of lighting candles–literally and figuratively–to change the world spoke to me. It was a kind of epiphany. I vowed to think and act with goodness. How I will fully do that still eludes me, though I have “put feet to my prayers” to help others these past months, and it has been gratifying and uplifting. This I know: For me, Thurman’s words have become words to live by.
My wish is that we all “light candles” this Lenten season and care for one another as God instructed us. Imagine a world filled with that light!
“Be still and know that I am God.”
Polly Dee Keiser McWilliams
The third Tuesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. This has been a “bright spot” for me during the Pandemic. I thank Lois Lynn for starting this group and being the coordinator of the Garden of Readin’ for a number of years, but especially for this year. She always sends us an email almost immediately after our meeting thanking all who attended, telling us how many attended (in-person numbers before the Pandemic at the 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. sessions), and information about the next book selection and who the facilitator will be for it. She also sends us a reminder the day before our meeting with all the information we need to connect to Zoom, sometimes telling us how much she enjoyed the monthly selection and looks forward to seeing us the next day.
Since last April, we have relied on Zoom for our meetings. It averages about 10 to 15 women who enjoyed reading the monthly choice, with the facilitator guiding us during our discussion. We have wonderful discussions during our one-hour Zoom meeting. Zoom was suggested to Lois by Janet Lybarger, and it was first provided by Carla Rossi. At that time, there needed to be two Zoom setups for the entire hour because Zoom only allotted a 40-minute time slot at one time! Laura Pauley started providing the Zoom sessions after Carla, and since June, we have been able to continue without stopping our meetings. Thank you, Carla and Laura.
We enlighten each other with our thoughts and bring in our own life experiences while discussing the various topics of the books we have read over the past 10 years.
Diane Kulp is another person to thank for keeping track of the books the group has read from the beginning—starting in 2010. As of this date, we have read 112 books. As Lois said in her last email, “that’s a lot of words”!
In closing, I would like to say we miss those who are unable to meet with us through Zoom but look forward to the day when we can all meet together in Grace’s Library again for a lively book discussion.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.”
When you look up at the sky or at the leaves on a tree or at a sunset, what do you see? Despite how rocky 2020 was, I hope many were able to see the glorious color that our world has to offer in nature. For many people, myself included, nature and everything you can see in it was a bright spot for 2020.
As spring sprung across the nation, the color of the sky seemed to be even more impressive, and it was like God was shining down on us letting us know that we were not alone, and he was watching over us. Sunsets seemed to become even more vibrant and the clouds seemed to always be in the perfect place at the end of the day to amplify the rays of the setting sun. As summer came, the color of the sky never faded, and the grass seemed a little greener as we spent more time in our own yards. If we did venture out into nature, many noticed just how colorful the world around us actually is and how many things there are to see. The vibrant colors that we saw carried over into fall. Over the past several years, we have had lackluster color across central Pennsylvania as the trees took much longer to change and then a quick transition to winter happened causing the leaves to fall. The vibrant show of colors this fall was just another reminder from God that he loves us and that he was surrounding us with his warm embrace. The magnificent colors stretched into winter as we saw over a foot of snow fall across the region. The way the snow enhanced the chilly landscape made for a very picturesque period in time. The way the snow hung on the trees was like God hanging on to us even in the most turbulent of times.
My hope for everyone is for you to continue to see the brilliant colors that our world has to offer and may these be a beacon of hope in uncertain and often dark times.
Ezekiel 1:28 states: “Like the bow in a cloud on a rainy day, such was the appearance of the splendor all around. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.”
May the Lord’s rainbow continue to shine on you this year and for years to come. Amen.
“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150
Have you ever had one of those driveway moments? You know, when you need to stay in the car to finish singing along with a song. How about the feeling that Christmas isn’t Christmas without carols? Weddings need to have all of the love songs and group dances that help celebrate the occasion, right? Summer camps and VBS aren’t the same without songs.
Typically, one of the goals is to share the love of Jesus while bringing everyone closer together. What better way than with a song (or two). One of my favorite camp songs has its roots in Psalm 150, “Praise the Lord with a Trumpet Sound” (you’re welcome for the earworm I may have planted for some of you). This is a joyous uplifting ever-praising song that just makes you smile about Jesus and how blessed we are. If you are anything like me, music is a bright spot in my world.
Of course, you won’t find me in the choir, but I am happy belt out a tune with a group, the shower, restaurants, and, yes, in the car. Music allows us to say words we couldn’t write, convey meanings we couldn’t share, dance and move to rhythms, feel feelings we just need to get out, and cement memories in times of remembrance. This holds true for times of sadness, anger, hardship, and joy.
In this time of pandemic, I have found my relief in music. Psalms, hymns, pop, musicals, country, classical, carols, sea shanties; you name it I will listen, sing along, and thank God for the gifts he has shared.
“Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen!”
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
Thinking back to the first week of March 2020 makes me both smile and grimace. I smile for the memories we were making on a vacation that, little did we know, was the last we would have at that capacity for quite some time. I smile thinking of our busy life, juggling kids to practices and rehearsals, social engagements, travel sports, church commitments and family calendar syncing to keep it all straight. I love that busy life and the opportunities our family has in this lovely town to seemingly “do it all.” I grimace thinking that we had no idea our normal lives were quickly coming to an abrupt halt. I grimace thinking that we were unknowingly seeing friends and family (face to face) for the last time before we began this extended time of social distancing.
The first few weeks we were isolated as a family were quite enjoyable. The girls and I started our own temporary homeschool schedule, did crafts, made science experiments and were grateful to have the time together. Ryan started working from home and I felt a sense of relief. We all thought this lockdown couldn’t last more than a few weeks and regular life would soon resume.
Of course, we were dreadfully wrong. Days turned to weeks and weeks into months and dread begin to set in. So many were getting infected and we knew so little of this novel virus ripping through our nation and most of the world. As many do in times such as these, I raised my voice and prayed. I prayed for healing, hope and guidance.
“Be still, and know that I am God…” came to me. “Be still” is the same thing that Jesus says to the wind and the waves in Mark 4:39. The wind and the sea completely died down in silence, in awe and worship of the Creator. In these unprecedented and frightening times “be still” is a powerful reminder that God is with us. It is especially powerful to a high energy overthinker, like me. Whenever we can resume normal activities, I will be sure to use this experience as a reminder to take time to calm the brain chatter, “be still” and listen.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
Sometimes “rejoicing” has been a challenge this year. But when I stop and look at what the Lord has offered me, I find I am not bereft. There have been hidden treasures. Case in point: the public park in Clearfield. I grew up in Armstrong County and had family in State College. I traveled Route 322 through Clearfield but was never further off the highway than the bridge connecting one side of Clearfield to the other side. This year, however, I discovered the park. It was a reason to rejoice.
My sister and her husband come to Armstrong County from Georgia. Normally I would be flying over that Clearfield bridge to meet up with her for things that sisters do. This year, caution entered our visits, and the park was discovered. It is about as halfway as we could find between the homestead in Armstrong County and here. It was a discovery that required GPS the first time back in July. It has picnic tables and a couple pavilions and is right beside the river so there are ducks to watch. We met there for socially distanced and masked picnics with our spouses about four times, including the holidays. The ducks were always happy for a share of our menu.
That park was a gem the Lord offered for us to connect. We were spectators to a summer wedding in the pavilion. It was a small, socially distanced wedding, but still a happy occasion. The justice of the peace was late and came flying across the park lawn struggling into his robes for the officiating. The ducks provided a choral quacking for the union. We applauded their “I do’s.” It was a day to rejoice.
At Christmas, we had a two-foot-tall foil tree purchased at a discount store to decorate our table. There was about five inches of snow, but the sun shone, and the pavilion was available. As seasoned tailgaters, we dressed for the weather. We opened gifts, picnicked and the ducks quacked. It was a day to rejoice.
Because of this odd year, I took a turn at the traffic light and found more than a park. Rejoice.
Thank you, Lord, for understanding our hunger to connect. Thank you for providing sustenance for body and soul. Lead us to days of rejoicing.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The above scripture has long been one of my favorite Bible verses. At no time has it seemed more important to embrace this than during 2020. I am writing this in January of 2021 and at this time a year ago we had no idea of what the rest of 2020 had in store for us. Similarly, we do not know what the rest of this year has in store. Nevertheless, scripture is clear that we should rejoice, pray, and give thanks. As unlikely as it seems, reflection finds that there were many things to rejoice over and give thanks for in 2020.
Technology was the star of 2020. I am so thankful for technology and my ability to use it. This year, via zoom, I have had coffee with friends from grade school who live all over the country and in Canada. I have been able to attend my regularly scheduled exercise classes with just a quick trip downstairs to my improvised gym. No worrying about driving conditions or even going outside. Similarly, my volunteer job, which once meant a drive to Bellefonte, is being done comfortably from my home. Many support groups were forced to go online this year rather than meet in person. What at first seemed to be a problem has turned into an opportunity. People can reach out to others online all over the country, at any hour, no longer limited to local resources. Similarly, one can “attend” church at any time and at any place, no problem of conflicting schedules.
Happily, my favorite vacation place, our summer cottage, is in Pennsylvania, so I could be there any time without risking any out of state travel. Definitely a bright spot for me. But perhaps, the most fun thing about 2020 was our 3-year-old granddaughter teaching herself to grab either of her parents’ phones and video call Grandma and Grandpa whenever she feels like it. A bright spot indeed!
Welcome to the 2021 Grace Lutheran member-written Lenten devotional. This year our devotions center around “bright spots,” those moments in the midst of this past year that God’s presence and love have shone through the challenges and sadness’s. Without a doubt this past year has been in many ways daunting, and yet we give thanks for those who have shared from their hearts to encourage all of us.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 17th, the daily devotional will appear on this blog and will be posted on Facebook. So come back every day!
The people of Grace reflect on the Bight Spots for the 2021 Lenten Devotional. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily for a new reflection.