We know that these past few weeks have been filled with uncertainty in the face of a swiftly changing situation. We have been and continue to pray for each of you as individuals and as a community, for our leaders both local and global, and for the world as a whole. Each individual person is made in the image of ‘god, and we ask that the loving arms of their creator be made tangible in new ways as we face this new pandemic.

In keeping with recent decisions and recommendations from the Oregon Governor’s office and Newberg School District, Wayside Friends Church will be postponing all community gatherings for the next three weeks in March, and we will be closely following developments to decide whether we will reconvene in April. We strongly encourage leaders of ministry teams and small groups to find and use alternative ways to check in with and care for the people in their teams.

As we are not meeting face-to-face, we know there will be many who feel an additional sense of isolation. Indeed, there are so many ways we can support one another, our community, as well as the communities we live and work in. Elders and Pastors are working on systems to gather names of people with needs and people who can serve one another to meet those needs. This may involve grocery delivery, medication pickup, or something as simple as a phone call for human connection.

We invite you to join with us in this prayer from the Corrymeela Community, by Padraig ó Tuama.

Jesus, you shared peace
around a table of anxiety,
peace with the bread, peace with the wine,
peace in the face of the uncertain,
peace in the place of pain.

May we share tables of peace
in places of pain,
sharing food and friendship
and words and life.
Because you came to a fearful world
and found your place
around those tables.

Amen.

This prayer represents our vision for this time of disruption, because although we cannot share physical tables of peace, we continue to work together to protect the vulnerable in our community and minister to each other and to the world as the (well washed) hands and feet of Christ.

The Elders and Pastors at Wayside