“Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear. Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure, Measure a year?”
As we come upon an entire year of dealing with covid, I have had this song stuck in my head…but I’ve made a few adjustments.

“Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear. five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure, Measure a year? In gloves? In masks? In toilet paper? In covid tests? In live stream, in zoom calls, in Clorox? In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure a year in a life?”

I can’t believe that it has been a whole year in our lives. When this pandemic started, I foolishly believed that by summer things would be completely back to normal. I never would have guessed that a year later we would still be talking about how to safely meet together and how to still be connected with God and one another when we can’t be physically together. As with any anniversary of a tragic event, the year mark reveals a new level of grief and introspection in looking back over the year. However, there is also love and fond memories that come from this time of reflection.

I love the next line from the song, Seasons of Love. How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love!!

When we measure this past year in love, what memories come to mind? What ways have we loved and been loved this year? I am reminded of how our small groups, UMW circles, and individuals have stepped up to call and check in with over 300 people!! Phone calls were made weekly to make sure our members were cared for! I am reminded of all the new friends that have become a part of our church family—from here in Ames, from other states, and even from around the world through our livestream. I’m reminded of the surprise from the congregation of seeing all of your pictures in the pews to brighten our Sunday mornings. I’m reminded of all of you who have stepped up to be greeters or scripture readers. I’m reminded of the joy of seeing the kids sing and dance and seeing all those who have done special music! I am reminded of the way our committees and small groups worked together to make so many Christmas Eve boxes! I am reminded of those that have encouraged their friends to learn how to zoom so they could be in small groups together.

Yes, this year has been hard. Yes, we long to see one another, to hug one another, to sing in church again. But we have also had some great times! We have learned a lot this past year, not only about technology but also about caring for one another. We can choose to be bogged down with the hardships or we can choose instead to measure this year in love. So how do you measure, measure a year?

Feeling the love with you,
Pastor Nikki