May I tell you a story?
My good friend John Roberts is the retired pastor of Woodbrook Baptist Church in Towson, Maryland, a Baltimore suburb. You might find it interesting that Woodbrook is also the church home of Hannah Breckenridge Purdy and her husband Anson Purdy.
In something of an ode to the idea of six degrees of separation – that’s six degrees of separation, not six feet – I’ll do my best to describe the relationships carefully…
John and his wife Marylynn have one child, their son Chris. Chris once worked as an assistant to Bill Moyers, the famous commentator/press secretary for Lyndon B. Johnson/Southwestern Baptist Theological School graduate. Yes, that Bill Moyers.
John explains that when Moyers wrote Healing and the Mind, Jackie Kennedy Onassis was his editor at Doubleday. Bill and Chris had weekly meetings with Mrs. Onassis and her assistant, who Chris was dating at the time. John and Marylynn, Chris and his girlfriend, along with Bill and Judith Moyers, once went out to dinner in New York City. As they walked into the restaurant, people began recognizing Moyers and could be heard asking one another, “Isn’t that Bill Moyers? Isn’t that Bill Moyers?”
They laughed about it as they were seated, and Moyers told them he was once stopped on a New York street by a stranger and asked, “Didn’t you used to be Bill Moyers?”
All that is to say this… I have a feeling that when the COVID-19 pandemic is over, and we are allowed to resume our normal lives – whatever normal will be – we might have to introduce ourselves to one another all over again. “Didn’t you used to be…?”
Life will be different, no doubt. Look at the way our world changed after 9/11. It will be just as true of post-Coronavirus. We will indeed have to adjust to a new normal, which in some cases might not be as bad as we think. Even the way we do church will be different. How we choose to do it is in our hands.
My hope is that the difference will be found in our not taking our church quite so much for granted as perhaps we did before, that we will value more deeply our relationships with one another, that we will think less in terms of what divides us and more in what we hold in common, and we will rejoice in the presence of one another and the One who brings us together for worship and service.
I hope you agree.
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Shortly, we will be providing you information about our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday activities. We encourage you to check your emails often as we give you the needed information. Thank you for your patience.