Restart Emmanuel ‘s Newsletter
*We’re taking your suggestions for names!
I have heard from a number of you that Emmanuel has not had a periodic newsletter for a number of years. After these now almost four months of COVIDtide — the liturgical season that absorbed Lent, surrounded Eastertide, and now takes us into Ordinary Time — the present seems like the perfect time to re-start Emmanuel’s long-dormant newsletter, and possibly with a new name.
We’ve done our best during COVIDtide to stay together by staying apart, as we were saying at the beginning of our time away from the church building. We have reinitiated Morning Prayer, which many of us grew up with in the church, and the practice has been both nourishing and deeply nostalgic, touching our oldest and most tender memories of church. And we have found ways to add music, even though we won’t be able to sing together in church for a while.
But we also have experienced distance and loss. Some members of our congregation don’t have computers or internet access and can’t participate with us in Morning Prayer on Facebook Live. Others have been — very reasonably — frustrated and even dispirited as we have struggled with technology that is new to us. Author, Lutheran minister, and public theologian Nadia Bolz-Weber hit this point hard last Friday, tweeting that every pastor she knew was overwhelmed: Twice the work doing stuff they are half as good at. Worse yet, even though we can go almost anywhere through our computer screens — without any limitation on time or distance — there’s a cost. We just don’t get the same relational and emotional benefits through the glass of our WiFi windows.
And so, while a newsletter is still one-sided (I would still like to have a normal face-to-face conversation with you!), it’s at least a good way to share in a format that we all can see what we have been doing at Emmanuel Church during this long and still-extending COVIDtide. We can begin to catch up and come together. If we can’t yet all be together in the church, we can at least be on the same page — whether that page arrives by email or in an envelope in your mailbox on the porch.
And help us come up with a name for our letter! In its first run, Emmanuel’s newsletter was called The Grapevine. Shall we call it that again, or is there another name that is more evocative in these times — New Wine, maybe? *Emmanuel Re-Inaugural Newsletter may be descriptive, but I know you can do better! And how often should we publish it? And who would like to contribute, and to coordinate the newsletter? This is a community conversation, and we can’t wait for you to join in!
The Re-Inaugural Newsletter can be found under the Happenings heading.