“The end is near,” we have been hearing the past few weeks on Sundays. This Sunday, we do reach an end—the end of our church’s liturgical year. Our church year always begins on the first Sunday of Advent and it ends today on Christ the King Sunday.
It’s easy to rush through Christ the King Sunday and move into the much anticipated season of Advent. Who doesn’t love a good Advent season with its blue colors and, eventually, trees? While I will preach about Christ the King and its meaning for us today, I would like to take this space and reflect on our past church year as Bay Shore.
A year ago, I was in my spare bedroom leading worship on Zoom. Danny, Dulcie and Kate also were in their homes, playing music, reading lessons and singing hymns. A year ago, we knew we would not be worshipping together for Christmas Eve, and we began making plans to create a service that we could show on our then new YouTube Channel. A year ago, we were completing the installation of our new technology which allowed us to begin livestreaming our services in early 2021. A year ago, I couldn’t fathom that we would not be together for a second Easter. A year ago, we didn’t have vaccines readily available.
In June, we returned to our building. We continue to livestream. And now, we still are contemplating the best way to have services in the coming weeks and months. I do not have a crystal ball, and so far, God is not answering certain questions that I have about when the pandemic will finally be contained enough to return to all things normally. But I am grateful to have spent the past year with this great community here at Bay Shore—the staff, our Council, our volunteers, our members and friends. We learned a lot; we grew in ways we did and did not want to grow. But most of all, we stayed together and supported one another as Jesus taught his disciples to do.
Blessings, my friends. May God bless us in our new year.