By Sherri Squires, Belleview UMC
The little country church I serve as a Lay Minister, Belleview UMC in Belleview, Missouri, closed to in-person worship in March 2020. Our folks worshipping there have very little, if any, internet access, so we had a phone ministry, including check-in calls with each household to keep in touch and lift each other up in prayer.
This was the first time in 12 years that I didn't have a sermon to prepare each week. You would think that would give me all kinds of free time but no. My Monday-to-Friday, full-time job is selling PPE, scrubs, lab coats, masks and gowns. It has been crazy busy!
Here we are a year later and still dealing with a global pandemic, but things have settled down to the new normal in my day job and Belleview UMC is back to in person worship as of Easter Sunday 2021. I will say that looking out at the congregation all wearing masks does feel different when preaching. I find it is more difficult to know how each person is receiving the message. It feels like there is somewhat of a disconnect without the facial expressions.
Both of my grown sons have had COVID-19 go through their home,s so we have missed a lot of time with kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. We missed my granddaughter's graduation from Naval basic training. I had a milestone birthday last year that was going to be a huge party that was canceled.
But praise God we haven't lost anyone in our circle to the virus! Another silver lining: I've saved a ton of money on lipstick by wearing my mask!