Life is Not On Pause

From the Lowell, Massachusetts newspaper, October 19, 1918

I heard someone reference this period of pandemic quarantine as “a pause” in normal life.

I don’t see it that way.

Life is still plugging along, thank you very much, and for many people it’s much more difficult. Having to combine full-time parenting with full-time employment with full-time figuring out how to live confined from others… hey, we’re Unitarians. We’ve already rejected the math that 1+1+1=1. (A little non-Trinitarian joke for you theology geeks.)

A UU religious educator colleague, Tim Atkins, found the above graphic from the 1918 pandemic. It was warming to me, to see that even then, we were taking our value of social responsibility seriously.

But this is not 1918 — thank goodness! And Live Oak will not “remain closed,” because we never closed. We are more active today than we were 2 months ago, with opportunities to connect practically every day of the week – with more to come. We are not meeting in person, and despite our governor’s willingness to make Texas a guinea pig for assessing covid-19 risk through increased physical contact, Live Oak will not be gathering in person for some time, because like the members of Grace Universalist in 1918, we want to do what we can to save the lives of the most vulnerable, among us, and in the larger community.

Live Oak is not on pause. This time gives us challenges, true, but it’s also giving us the push to experiment with new technologies, and to renew our commitment to each other.

In one of the first sermons I gave at Live Oak, I referenced the fact that in the early church, “church” never meant a building. “The Church” meant the people. The congregation.

Live Oak UU Church has left the building, but we are not on pause, not on hiatus. We are more active than ever before. And we need you. We need your ideas, your heart, your dreams. For those who have a little more time on their hands than others, we need some of that time, as we continue doing the work of the church but in new ways. Your community needs you, and the world needs this community.

At Live Oak, we don’t go to church. We are the church.

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