Greetings First Congregational Church of Spencerport! I hope that this email finds you in good health and in good spirits. I came across a passage in the Bible that I wanted to share with you. John wrote a short letter to a man by the name of Gaius, who is believed to have been a first century church leader. John began his letter by saying, Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. (Third John 3:2)
As most of you know by now, we will be canceling some of our worship services and Wednesday evening Lenten programs due to COVID-19 (the Coronavirus). It is believed that the Coronavirus began in China and then has spread, rapidly, to other parts of the globe in a short period of time. This incident has shown me two things as a 35-year-old male: First, it has shown me that our world is a lot smaller than what we think. Although some of us are hundreds of miles apart (and, on different continents); we all share the same air, the same sun, the same moon, and the same stars. The same sun that brings energy, light, and life to us in the United States of America (and, Canada for our Canadian members), brings energy, light, and life to those on the other continents as well. Second, this incident has reinforced my strong belief that we are all inter-connected. When something affects one of us, it affects all of us in some shape or form. We are all God’s creation; and, we are all children of the Earth.
Therefore, it is urgent that we protect ourselves and others—at all cost. This goes beyond washing your hands, frequently; staying home if you are sick; and, refusing to be in close proximity to others during this pandemic. This goes beyond COVID-19. It has to do with wishing others well, sincerely. It has to do with deeply caring for the well-being of others, sincerely. And, it has to do with reaching out and touching others (metaphorically speaking) in the same way Christ did. It has to do with seeing and hearing God in the eyes, the hands, the feet, and the voice of others—and, treating them as such (e.g., with love, compassion, forgiveness, charity, patience, etc.). It has to do with actually wishing, hoping, and praying that they prosper and be in good health—just as John did with his friend Gaius.
Furthermore, this is my prayer, my hope, and wish for each and every one of you…that you would prosper and be in good health as you trod the stony path of aging.
Blessings upon each and everyone of you; and, thank you for allowing me to be of service in this sacred and precious capacity as your minister.
Pastor Michael L. Sloan