There is no question that all of us have had to make some exceedingly difficult decisions in our lives over the past six months. The global pandemic has changed the way we live, work and communicate with
each other. We have struggled over who we can visit, reopening of churches, businesses and schools and how we can safety survive in
this new environment.

Many traditions, customs, and practices have been dramatically altered—
graduations, weddings, vacations, even funerals. Things, for now, cannot be the same. So it is within our church; even if we can reopen on September 20th, one of our major events for September each year, Rally Day— the
official opening of Sunday School and the Christian Education year, will not be taking place. The worship and CE Task Force has decided to forego this monumental tradition for this year. We are trying to reopen for worship;
but that does not include Sunday School or small groups for now.

It is a bitter pill to swallow. But like most pills, even the bitter ones, it will help us to start healing and grow as individuals and as a church. We can increase our daily reading of scripture and devotionals and encourage our children and families to do the same. I will continue to send out packets to
children and families for activities they can do at home. We can encourage our young children and all adults to stay in touch with those they have met
in their class or small group; and thus, be a support system for one another.

Truth be told, there are more hard decisions yet to come like the realization our Advent Party may also be in jeopardy. Let us recognize this is not only a
church dilemma— it is a cultural one as well. There is no doubt that all holiday customs and gatherships will need to be examined by families across our nation.

We cannot wallow in pity, however. We need to rise up to this oncoming challenge and move forward to worship and praise He who gave everything
for us.

Kristen Franchetti
Director of Christian Education