Dear Riviera Family,
March finds us working our way through Lent. It also marks the one-year anniversary that we have been worshipping online due to the COVID pandemic. AND, even though it is not our preferred way to be a community of faith, we have learned how to worship, care for, and enjoy the company of each other in a new way.
One of our Lenten disciplines was to keep a journal where we write down things for which we are grateful. I hope you are trying to do this (and if you have not begun, it is never too late.) I find that I have begun to look forward to and enjoy the practice of writing in my journal. Although some of my entries are humorous (I sometimes write things about Bo for which I am thankful so that I can read them to him), I have begun to look at the world, find blessings, and think…. ‘That would be good in my journal.’ Perhaps you are finding that as well. I am noticing the sound of birds, the warmth of the sun, and the dance of the palm trees in the Florida breeze and know that God is in each beautiful aspect of nature.
And my guess is that each of you, like me, have written something about being thankful for being a part of the Riviera community. We are a loving community who cares for each other and the world in which we live. We enjoy each other but also feel called by God to look outside our homes and church to serve all of God’s creation. I love the fact that even in this time of uncertainty and anxiety, we are attending an online seminar on racism, are cleaning up the trash on the beach, and having an educational series on creating a sustainable world. We worship together, we have fellowship in ZOOM Holy Grounds Coffee Hour, we care for those who need a prayer and the knowledge that they are not alone, we have a glass of wine together at the weekly choir ZOOM meeting…. AND we are committed to be the church, to be Christ’s body, and to bring God’s realm here on earth.
If you feel comfortable doing so, I would love it if you would share any of your gratitude journal entries with me about the church, its community, and/or its missions.
In Christ and in love,
The Rev. Martha M. Shiverick