Alka's Angle December 18, 2020

Dear Broadway Family,


We are exactly a week away from Christmas -- when we celebrate God sharing with us the best gift we could have ever received -- God’s presence in human form -- so we could experience the love God has for us, and all humanity.

And, so we celebrate this day, not only as the birth of Christ in our world, but also the rebirth of hope and love, joy and peace and, we celebrate this season as a season of sharing -- recognizing what God had shared with us -- God’s best, God’s self, God incarnate -- as Jesus! 


Every year during this season, we humans are more open to spreading joy and cheer; it feels much stronger this year. I have seen many examples of this sharing spirit around me this year. I see communities coming together like we never have before and caring for one another in this season that is also so overcome by the season of COVID. Friends, just as Christmas is about light, love and hope overpowering the evil in this world -- may our Christmas spirit of sharing overcome the COVID-related stress in our lives. 


Some simple ways:


  • a phone call to someone we may not have called in a while or better yet -- someone we don’t like talking to; :-)
  • when out grocery shopping/ordering a meal/coffee, pay for the person behind us;
  • think of the essential workers -- and hand them a card this year with a gift card in it -- you may already do that -- but this year, think broader -- the UPS delivery person, the Instacart person, the person who delivers your food this week, the CTA driver whose bus you may board this week -- there are so many people who did not stop working when we were all told to stay home, but were never elevated and recognized as essential workers -- think of them. Even a thank you while looking in their eyes with gratitude will go a long way; 
  • if you are a crafter -- you can make things for a neighborhood shelter;
  • check with a shelter/food pantry/soup kitchen in the area and see if there is a need you can fulfill -- knowing that this season many have lost their jobs and have depended on shelters and food pantries;
  • when you get/order your groceries -- think of ordering a can or two extra for our own community pantry, so we can keep that stocked also;
  • anything else that you can think of that can bring a smile on someone’s face.


The point is -- let us not allow COVID to take the joy of sharing away from us. Let us see that as more of a reason to share joy and smiles -- trust me -- we will feel better when we do that! 


Let me shift focus for a moment and share some details for our upcoming worship services:


  • Join us for the “Blue Christmas” service on Monday, December 21st at 5:30pm. The service will be offered outside in the yard -- so anyone from the community can join in. We will be sharing it live on the Broadway UMC facebook page (make sure you ‘like’ the page, if you are on fb). We are also post it on our YouTube channel. (We cannot live-cast there because we do not have 1000 subscribers to our channel… yet…)
  • Our Christmas Eve service will be at 7pm. It will be a live zoom service, also live-streamed on Facebook, and will be posted on YouTube later in the evening. Here is the video link for the Christmas Eve service. Meeting ID: 849 0535 9518 Passcode: 655103 One tap mobile +13126266799. 
  • The following two Sundays we will have a “Carol Sing” and a Kwanzaa service. 


Friends, it is my hope to give our staff and media team, at least 10 days, if not 2 weeks off -- completely shutting the office, since we all have been working extra hard these last 10 months. I invite your support to make that possible -- so if you have been asked to do a reading for Kwanzaa or to sing for the Hymn Sing, please send us your recordings (preferably in mp4 format) as soon as you possibly can, so our staff and media team can do what we need to do, and then take the much-needed break.  


And again, let’s not allow COVID to stop us from doing what we are called to do in this season. COVID only causes us to pivot and re-think our plans -- but it cannot, and should not stop us from supporting, sharing, caring for one another (of course -- as much as we safely can), and celebrating the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” 


Please do take good care of you -- wash hands frequently, wear a mask when out and about and, stay home if we can. Let us also take care of each other, check in with each other often and encourage one another to stay positive. May God give all of us the strength we need for each day. And remember, I am always your partner in justice,