by Rev. Harry Disher

As our pandemic captivity persists, I am becoming conscious of some new learnings and discoveries about life and faith, and some heightened awareness. 

In coming weeks, some members of our congregation will be invited to share their own reflections on such realizations they have experienced during this strange and unusual time.

One way of sharing my reflections is to offer this “Top Ten” list, not necessarily in any order of importance or priority.

  1. I am more conscious of how “lockdown” affects people mentally, emotionally, and spiritually; and more sensitized to how this situation, which is strange to many of us, is more the norm for people in prison,
    and residents of long-term care facilities and mental health institutions where outbreaks and lockdowns are far more frequent, if not close to a daily reality for them. All of them are in my prayers and being carried on my heart.
  2. While I already have the blessing of a vocation and occupation that enables me to work on “flex time”, even more flex time is at hand these past few weeks. That means more options are present hour by hour for using time fruitfully or creatively, or for choosing less healthful or less purposeful activities like playing extra rounds of word games or sudoku on my phone.
  3. Staying at home and social isolation offers increased opportunities for strengthening some primary relationships and touching base with friends. It also highlights where some of the stressors show up and invites me to examine how to reframe and transform my more negative and strained responses.
  4. Having more time for personal devotion, journaling, and spiritual practice is a great blessing. Taking advantage of that option makes a difference in how I live through a day.
  5. I have an increased awareness of how humour lifts the spirit as does music and song. Along with that comes an increased awareness of how some humour is in poor taste and just plain mean.
  6. There is a growing discontent with our pre-Covid-19 ways of life.
  7. And a burgeoning hope and personal commitment to moving into post-Covid-19 life differently with God’s greater purposes for humanity and creation more intently in view.
  8. Finding space for all that stuff that gets cleared out with spring cleaning, sorting through yet unpacked boxes from moving, and holding onto not-yet returnable items is also a challenge to one’s creativity, patience, and ability to go with “what is, is”.
  9. Fresh air is even more so a daily necessity along with personal exercise when one can’t get to gym.
  10.    Being together in online community has been extremely helpful; but the longing for in-person, face-to-face interaction remains.

So may the God who is with us at all times, in every circumstance, and through all seasons of life and faith continue to attend us.


I was hoping to use Jackie Evancho’s rendering of her uncle’s prayer-song “To Believe” as our Prayers of the People for this week’s service of worship.  Some technical conundrums and some more ambiguous legal ones made that too taxing for now, so, here is the link to it on YouTube, should you choose to tune into it and find the heart and hope of an 11-year-old (who is now 20) inspiring and encouraging. May this prayer be akin to many of our prayers too.