Monday Musings  June 15, 2020

As the world around us has been opening up, First United ponders how we can realistically and responsibly come back into the physical community we all cherish and crave. A new COVID-19 Task Force headed by Tom Busey is beginning to discuss best practices to guide us as we move forward.

On Saturday, June 13th, with a certain amount of hesitation, First United dipped our toe, as it were, into the reopening waters, as our Board of Outreach held a No-Contact Food Drive in the circle drive outside Fellowship Hall. Since we are not officially open, Council took a leap of faith in authorizing this event.

Now, with a day or two of hindsight, we can and should view this event as a tremendous success.  Outreach had thoughtfully planned all aspects of No Contact, and executed them flawlessly. Nonperishable food donations overflowed Rebecca Nunley’s pickup into Cindy Stone’s CRV. Several hundred dollars in checks were also received. Outreach estimates that nearly 50 cars, many with more than one occupant, participated. Several former members who had moved away stopped by, along with representatives from four neighbor Bloomington congregations. Everyone was masked, and social distancing was faithfully observed.

What was most remarkable to witness, however, was how eager everyone was to see one another in body. Of the cars with multiple occupants, usually more than one occupant got out to place food in the vehicles and say hello. While the event advertised that one Outreach volunteer would be present at all times, at one point I counted FIVE Outreach members in attendance, eagerly discussing issues and exchanging updates from 6+ feet away. With business to attend to myself inside, I hung around for well over an hour, delighted to greet familiar masked faces with my own muffled hello.

The event also had a spinoff effect of generating two volunteers to tackle small maintenance chores from the list Laura Kao has helpfully posted on the door of the back shed inviting willing workers to pitch in on manageable chunks of upkeep. If you’d like to join in, Laura can offer guidance.

We are truly a community, caring for one another and for our larger community. It was wonderful to see one another briefly at a safe, masked distance for a good cause, and it will be a joyful day when we can gather again to celebrate our faith and our fellowship. 

Mary Peckham