Social distancing continues to be extremely effective in helping us to lessen and even avoid spreading the virus. It’s something we can do to stay healthy. It’s something we can do for others. Even though it seems a bit simplistic, the six foot rule has great benefits. We strongly encourage everyone to stay at “arms length” until the all-clear is sounded.

But I’m also aware that social distancing has other consequences. We need to be sensitive and responsive to those other consequences.  I’ve received more than a few comments about the negative emotional impacts of social distancing. It is real. I’m not a mental health profession so this is by no means a diagnosis but I can imagine (and have personally experienced) that during social distancing, quarantine or isolation, one may anticipate experiencing fear, anxiety; one might become bored, sad and even depressed. Anger, frustration or irritability may be experienced and expressed during this time because you feel disconnected.
There’s no template for me to offer that fits everyone but I do have a few bits of wisdom that might be helpful if you are being negatively impacted. Remember that even though you may be socially distant and isolated – you need not feel alone. There is a great cloud of witnesses surrounding you. Reach out. Make a phone call. Start a conversation. It’s helpful for our emotional and physical health, because we need some level of connection and chatter.
Another thing to be aware of are your moments of uncomfortableness, distress and being overwhelmed.  If you know your emotional indicators or you notice your red flags – hit the pause button and just breathe.  If you can’t concentrate – just breathe.  If feelings of frustration, worry, sadness flush over you – just breathe. Intentional breathing is always a good response.

And finally be gentle and compassionate with yourself and others. We simply can’t control much during these days. But we can control how we treat ourselves and that will help us treat others more Christ-like.

Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 42:5-9
5Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
    to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to idols.
See, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare; before they spring forth,

   I tell you of them.

Reflection Questions:
What does being “righteous” mean to you?
Who needs a phone call from you today?
What “new thing” do you imagine happening after the COVID 19 is under control?

Prayer:  Holy God, gratitude fills me for you put your Spirit in me and called me to righteousness.  Let me take your hand as you lead me on this uncertain path. Be my strength as I shine the light of your presence.  Amen.

Wednesday Evening Prayer Service via livestream begins at 6:45 p.m. and lasts between 15 and 20 minutes.

Sunday we will start livingstreaming 15 minutes before the service which begins at 9:45 a.m.  Music will fill this time in preparation for Worship.

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Check out Virtual Children’s Church with Miss Allison by going to Pine Shores Presbyterian Church homepage.  A Joy Company video coming soon!

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