Joyce Mancinelli
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One of the reasons that the COVID restrictions have hit people so hard is that, by nature, we are creatures of the herd. We like to be together. We enjoy interacting with others. This can be used for good, but it can also foster the pack mentality of such groups as the White Supremacists (why on earth did I dignify them with capitalization?) These are needy folk who must have the gang around to give them courage. 

But it can be used to strengthen and support. I think of that old story about the man who said to his visiting pastor that he didn't need to come to church to be a Christian. The pastor said nothing, but reached tongs into the  fire and extracted a burning ember. He set it down on the hearthstone and they both watched as its glow faded and died. I'm not saying, of course, that if you don't attend church, you cannot have faith. I AM saying that when you join together to make a joyful noise unto the Lord, the shared sense of being a child of God bolsters and enriches us.

Throughout scripture, from the very beginning, we are encouraged to join in acts of worship. So at this time, when so many are confined to their homes once more, let our thoughts and prayers reach out to our fellow parihioners. Today, at our mid week service, Andre opened by dedicating the service to Elsie, whose presence permeates the little church. He asked that she be made aware of the love we feel for her, and be secure in the knowledge that God loves her very much.

Let's take that example. Reach out in prayer, thank God for the blessings of fellowship. Know that you are loved.