Dear Live Oak,
What a year it has been. What began as a fairly normal year for a church was turned upside down on March 15, when we had our last in-person worship service. By the following Sunday, we were gathering online for our worship services, but even then, we had no idea the length and breadth of the change ahead.
It has been a challenging year. Some of our members have lost loved ones, or jobs. Our families have had to adjust to parents working in the house, while simultaneously helping their children do school from their home. But we turned toward one another, helping out where we could, and mostly, staying connected. People who eschewed the internet in the “Before Times,” took a deep breath and said, “Well, if this is what we have to do, then so be it,” and learned how to get on Zoom, mute and unmute, go to Worship and “chat” in a box, and more.
Our focus has not just been internal, either. We’ve continued serving out in the larger community where we can, helping with voting efforts, and continuing to host Fresh Food for All. We’ve added new members to our congregation. Just think of that – we have members who have never stepped foot into Live Oak’s building, but wanted to be a part of all that we’re doing!
I hope that you have a Christmas with joy and merriment, even as we experience it in such a different way, with empty guest-bedrooms, but Zoom screens full of our loved ones. To borrow a line from “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” we are, indeed, figuring out how to muddle through somehow, even as we dream of future years when we will all be together.
But today is of value, too. Today, we get to make memories with one another that we will laugh and get wistful about in the future. I hope you can join me Christmas Eve night at 6:00 pm for our online candlelight Christmas Eve service. Have those candles ready!