I think we should always learn something from our experiences, even if it is during a global pandemic. I have found that there is only so much binge-watching your mind (and rear end) can take but like anything, you can increase your endurance with a little training.
It took some experimenting, but I was able to determine the optimum time to go to the grocery store to find toilet paper in stock. Who knew it would be as valuable as gold!
I learned that I like working in my lab much more than working in my yard. Maybe most alarming is that I have found that no matter how hard you try, you can’t hide your “turkey” neck when you are on Zoom.
Community is key
Most importantly, this time of social distancing has made me realize just how much community means to me.
I have genuinely missed meeting in person with my WELCA group, and I was sad that we could not meet in Phoenix this summer. I was so looking forward to seeing women that have met over the years. Any of you who know me know that I am not a big hugger, but I miss the hugs I get when we gather as sisters in Christ.
There is a line in Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” (warning if you listen to it, you may not be able to get the tune out of your head) that says, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
These last few months have me thinking what if this pandemic paved over Women of the ELCA, and it went away? It became just a parking lot. For me, there would be a longing for that community of women I have grown so very close to. I think many of us feel the same way.
Support our ministries
These thoughts have made me more determined to do what I can to support our ministries. I am encouraging women to continue to give an offering to their unit and synodical organizations as they are able. And I hope you will prayerfully consider becoming a Faithful Friend.
I am pledging to increase my giving to all the expressions of Women of the ELCA, and this fall, I am going to send a personal Thankoffering since my unit will not be meeting. I already subscribe to Gather magazine. How about you? Please join me and keep us from becoming just another parking lot.
Jody Smiley is a soon-to-be-retired environmental analytical chemist at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. She is also president of the Virginia Synodical Women’s Organization. Jody was vice president of Women of the ELCA’s executive board from 2014-2017.