4:45 PM (23 minutes ago)
4:45 PM (23 minutes ago)
Church services will continue to be held remotely due to the COVID-19 virus. You can see them on Facebook or click the “Resources” tab on the church website (westgloucesterchurch.org).
“We should always pray for help, but we should always listen for inspiration and impression to proceed in ways different from those we may have thought of.”– John H. Groberg
As a pastor and a hospice chaplain, I have been contacted lately by many people who are having a hard time focusing. Many say the days running into days are beginning to feel overwhelming. I have heard others say they are feeling confined and having difficulty sleeping. And others are crying at the drop of a hat and can’t understand why. And still others feel achingly uncomfortable not being able to make plans and find it almost physically painful not seeing family and friends in person. I concluded that these seemed like signs of grief.
Initially, I thought, boy this pandemic is the cause and from a bird’s eye view, it was. As I meditated on this a while, I wondered about the pedestrian view. Then I remembered from one of my classes in the Gerontology Program at North Shore Community College years ago, what often happens psychologically and emotionally to the elderly who give up their homes and independence and move into assisted living and nursing facilities. It is called desocialization, the process by which people give up old norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors. Obviously, one’s reaction to that would be to grieve the loss of those things.
It felt like a eureka moment! Suddenly, I was able to see the ways being quarantined has caused desocialization grief in so many. When we lose a loved one, a job, go through a divorce, etc., we can associate grief to those things. Can you imagine how desocialization grief has compounded the many losses people are experiencing directly and indirectly every day these past two months? I reached out to folks and shared this revelation. They had the same reaction as I did. They all felt a relief because now they could name the source of their grief and articulate how their old norms, values, attitudes and behaviors had been upended because of the quarantine. Understanding their grief brought them gratitude, comfort and peace.
So my friends, in what ways do you feel your norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors have been tampered with during your quarantine? I hope my inspiration and impressions will help you proceed in ways different than you may have thought of before.
My prayer is for you to be empowered to make meaning and find a new place of gratitude, comfort and peace. May we look forward to the day we can once again experience socialization.
About the author
Rev. Donna Spencer Collins, M.Div., is Pastor of the Phoenix Rising United Church of Christ in Groveland, MA, and a chaplain with Care Dimensions.
Dear Members and Friends,
We would like to welcome Rev. Rona Tyndall on May 3, 2020, for her first worship service as our official Designated Term Pastor. You can watch our church services on Facebook or on the Church website (westgloucesterchurch.org) under “Resources”.
Just a reminder that if you are able, please continue to send your pledges or donations to the church. For those who are able, please consider making an additional donation to the Deacons’ Fund. The Deacons’ Fund is available to help our members and friends make it through these trying times. Checks should be made payable to WGTCC and mailed to 488 Essex Ave, Gloucester, MA 01930. Please note in the memo line if the check is for the church or for the Deacons’ Fund (or a combination of both). You can also donate on-line at our website: westgloucesterchurch.org.
Thank you and stay safe,
Karen Hunter, Leslie Pope, Donna Tulla, and Nancy Tulla
WELCOME THE STRANGER
Support Our New Neighbors NOW!
Can you imagine leaving everything behind—family, friends, profession, school, community, language, culture, climate, geography—and starting over from scratch? That’s exactly what so many newcomers to our community from foreign lands have had to do.
On Cape Ann right now we have neighbors who have escaped violence an war in the Middle East, Asia, Central America, and Africa. Safe at last, they are eager to provide for their children and become contributing members of our community. They are the new Americans.
Local individuals and faith communities have reached out to help in amazing ways, and the families have made a good start finding employment, pursuing higher education, learning English, etc. The young children are enrolled in school and community activities and are making friends.
The road ahead, however, is still filled with many obstacles including finding affordable housing and living wage employment and accessing childcare, vocational training, as well as mental health services to address the trauma they sustained. Initial government-sponsored refugee assistance has ended, so there is an urgent and immediate need for additional financial assistance to:
· REPAY travel loans they had to secure in order to get here;
· SUBSIDIZE a portion of their basic expenses; and
· ACCESS necessary employment, vocational and social services.
Funds will be collected by the West Gloucester Trinitarian Congregational Church, UCC. Once immediate and specific short-term needs are met, remaining dollars will be used to enhance the family support programs of Wellspring House to better meet the needs of newly arriving immigrant families on Cape Ann.
The stories of these new families may differ in details from our own, but most of us owe our own good fortune to the kindness of others who reached out to our ancestors or us when we were newcomers. However, unlike our parents and grandparents who were supported by cousins and countrymen and women, these refugees have no relations nearby to rely on. But they do have us.
Please be generous. All gifts are tax-deductible.
IF YOU ARE AN AMAZON SHOPPER, BY USING THE LINK: SMILE.AMAZON.COM YOU WILL BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO SELECT A FAVORITE CHARITY TO RECEIVE 0.5% OF YOUR PURCHASE TOTAL FROM ALL QUALIFIED PURCHASES. IF YOU WISH FOR THE CHURCH TO RECEIVE THE CREDIT, THE NAME THAT IS REGISTERED FOR OUR CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION IS WEST GLOUCESTER TRINITARIAN CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH (YOU MUST ENTER THE FULL NAME) AND IF YOU SET IT AS YOUR PREFERRED CHARITY YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO RE-ENTER IT EACH TIME. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU TO DO THIS. THE CONTRIBUTIONS ARE MADE BY THE AMAZON FOUNDATION AND ARE THEREFORE NOT TAX-DEDUCTIBLE TO YOU, THE PURCHASER; HOWEVER, IT COSTS YOU NOTHING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY. IF YOU ARE AN AMAZON PRIME SHOPPER, IT WILL NOT NEGATIVELY AFFECT THE SHOPPING ADVANTAGES OF YOUR PRIME ACCOUNT.
To support the work and ministries of our church, donate here: