Hello Members and Friends –
Religious affiliation and beliefs are very personal. Yet, regardless of one’s religious commitments we often find hope and inspiration in the stories and traditions of the great religions like the stories of Easter and Passover – stories of new beginnings – both of which are being celebrated this week and that relate to this challenging time we’re all living in.
The season of Lent which leads into Easter is a period of sacrifice and withdrawal from not only worldly conveniences, but necessities. Sound familiar? The social distancing and stay at home measures we’re facing have created a modern day “desert” that is requiring us to fast from, or go without many of the things we love and fuel our lives with. Fasting and sacrifice however, can lead to a deep appreciation for the gifts we do have and to recommit to areas of our lives we may have been neglecting.
The week before Easter, as the story goes, was a complex week. Death was imminent and facing that reality required courage, strength, and love. Again, sound familiar? We are currently in what was predicted to be the “toughest week” of the COVID outbreak in the U.S. thus far. During the White House press briefing on Saturday, April 4th, our national leadership said, “there’ll be a lot of death.” These predictions are being fulfilled, and as many of us are beginning to experience the pandemic is starting to hit closer and closer to home. It is time for us to rally together and support those dealing with grave circumstances – which is the meaning of Easter.
The day of Easter is light that comes from darkness. It is the restoration of life. This is the part of the story where we can look for hope, inspiration, and comfort. Even in the most unthinkable of times marked by fear and sadness, the power of the spirit of human goodness can overcome great adversity and bring the promise of new beginnings. Now more than ever it is critical for us to take care of ourselves in mind, body and spirit, and encourage those around us to do the same. This is an opportunity to prepare ourselves to face not just the journey through this COVID crisis in the most compassionate, committed and joyful way possible, but also to be ready to bring this way of life into the world after the pandemic.
Stay active and be well!
Yours in good health,
Ian Yorty Executive Director