For the last few weeks I have been laser focused on Holy Week.  Putting together liturgy, worship planning with Kim, writing sermons, recruiting people to help, recording services, downloading videos, organizing videos, uploading videos, and on and on.  Now on the other side of Easter Sunday it feels like I can finally take a deep breath, and in many ways, focus on these new normals we’re experiencing.  Because we made it to the empty tomb and beyond, even though this Holy Week was unlike anything we’ve experienced before. We can say Hallelujah anyway.

This week I have been thinking a great deal about the Class of 2020 in high schools, colleges/universities, graduate schools, etc. across the country.  Governor Lamont declared that schools will stay closed until May 20th here in Connecticut, though it’s up in the air if schools will be back to meeting in person for the remainder of this school year.  I feel for parents who are doing their best with online learning while still working themselves.  I feel for students who are missing their teachers and friends, even the structure that school provides.  I feel for teachers who have had to adapt and figure out how to teach right now, not only with the technology, but at a time when anxiety is so high and it’s hard to focus let alone learn something new.  I feel for all school staff, from custodians to support staff (who sometimes work behind the scenes) and can help make schools positive environments in many ways, their work lives have been upended too.  I feel for school administrators and school board members who are having to make difficult decisions about so many things. 

Though I especially feel for anyone who anticipated a spring graduation in 2020.  Think for a moment about your own graduation(s) and all of the celebrations that went along with them.  Perhaps there were many traditions at your school or ways that your family marked graduations.  And just like in the Church where we still observed Holy Week (virtually) to respond to the orders for physical distancing, I’m sure that graduations will occur in one form or another.  But it’s still hard after working for many years and accomplishing something significant in one’s life to not mark the day side by side with your friends, classmates, teachers, principals, school staff, parents, siblings, all sorts of family members celebrating you and your class together in person.  Maybe that will happen like normal just at a later date, maybe it won’t.  Though in this time of uncertainty, let’s be especially kind to anyone in the Class of 2020 and their families.  Most of us are experiencing some losses or another right now, but graduations being up in the air as we approach graduation season feels especially difficult.  May God bless and keep the Class of 2020.

Pastor Lauren 

(This Week’s Thoughts 4.16.20)