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Message from Pastor Carrie West | March 4, 2021

Dearest SonRise Church family,

We are quickly approaching the one year mark of living through the most significant pandemic of our lifetime. It is strange how some days it feels as though the last year went by quickly and other days it seems like we have been isolated for far longer than 12 months. The past year has been filled with sorrow over the deaths of over half a million of our neighbors and fellow human beings. The year has also seen great innovation, both in the public sphere as well as here in our church. All in all I believe we received a wonderful gift of a new perspective; an opportunity to imagine living and loving more intentionally with others.

On March 16, 2020, we began our virtual experience of church after worshiping in the building for the last time on the 15th. Please join me on the 16th of this month in recognizing the highs and lows of the past year, the joys and sorrows, our laments and thanksgiving. An attachment to this letter includes ways to mark this day, provided by Everyday Sanctuary. You can print the page to look at during the day, or keep open on your desktop for reference throughout the day.

In addition to individual observance of remembering the past year, I invite you to join me in publicly encouraging our neighbors, those who we now acknowledge as essential workers, and our whole community. There are different ways to do this:

  • Color the attached page and hang it in your window, or place on a signpost in your yard, or send it to your health care provider. Or take a picture of your page and share it on social media with the hashtag #1CrazyYear.

  • Come add your touch to large posters at the church during the week of March 8.

  • Volunteer to take one of the posters to your favorite small business or one of the health care facilities or stand on a corner if you are so inclined. If there is enough interest, we can form a small group of encouragers to hold the posters in front of an essential business.

  • Take pictures and send them by email to the church office or to me directly, by email or text, so we can add them to our FaceBook page and website.

Let us not allow the moment to pass without recognizing the significance of this remembrance occurring during the season of Lent. In these six weeks before Easter, we are encouraged to change our hearts and minds by dying to our sins and choosing once again new life offered in the love of God through Jesus the Christ. Resurrection doesn’t happen without death. Jesus had to die in order for death to then be defeated by the power of God. This same power brings new life, new hope, new promise for all humanity today. At this one year mark of the pandemic, there is no better time for us to remind our community of this good news!

And now for some more good news! We will be returning to worship in the sanctuary on April 11, dependent on the transmission rate in Pueblo County and with restrictions. We will hold outdoor services, in the parking lot, on both Palm Sunday and Easter. Everyone is invited and encouraged to come to church, either online, or in the parking lot! Next week we will begin sending out information about registering to attend services in the building, protocols that will be in place, and options for engaging online.

I am proud and honored to be a part of this community and to be on this journey of faith with all of you. You have persevered, endured and at times have even been able to celebrate through 1 crazy year! I look forward to sharing social distanced space with you soon! May Peace continue to be upon you! Pastor Carrie

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