Practical and Spiritual Care for Ourselves and Our Community in this Unprecedented Time

We are living in a time of high anxiety. The COVID-19 outbreak has many of us on edge,  uncertain about what information to trust, and how to be responsible without being alarmist. Here’s some helpful advice from our Happiness and Wellness team about caring for ourselves, each other and the wider community in this time. 

Here is an excerpt from the Alameda County Public Health Department. Please review this valuable and timely information!

One of the advantages of being a smaller congregation in a large beautiful sanctuary, is that we can spread out! We’re also practicing elbow greetings, and making sure that we have plenty of tissue boxes on hand, and signs reminding one another to wash our hands for 20 seconds!!  However, If you are sick, or at risk, (see the link above)  I love you, and I want you to stay home. We will be recording the services (probably should have been doing this for years now, and will post on next week’s email as a link).

I invite each one of us to continue to practice gratitude for all the blessings we do have; to pray for the most vulnerable in the community; to pray for wisdom for our leaders at the national, regional and local levels; to take time to breathe deeply and to remember that the power of love casts out fear; to value the preciousness of life; to remember that you are not alone and that you have a faith community loving you and praying for you.

The psalmist left us these timeless words:  

God is our refuge and strength,
   a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
   though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
   though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
   God will help it when the morning dawns.

 ‘Be still, and know that I am God

And lastly, since ‘wash your hands” has become the clarion call these days, here is an excerpt about turning the washing of hands into a spiritual practice:

Photo by Curology on Unsplash

We are humans relearning to wash our hands.
Washing our hands is an act of love
Washing our hands is an act of care
Washing our hands is an act that puts the hyper-vigilant body at ease 
Washing our hands helps us return to ourselves by washing away what does not serve.
Wash your hands like you are washing the only teacup left that your great grandmother carried across the ocean, like this water is poured from a jug your best friend just carried for three miles from the spring they had to climb a mountain to reach.
Like water is a precious resource made from time and miracle. (Dori Midnight)

May the peace that passes all understanding keep your hearts and mind centered on love.