by Heather Diddel

Hello, dear Unity family—

I MISS you all!

I am writing this little love note to you right after participating in the Thursday morning Chaplain’s zoom call. We had people on zoom and on the phone. It was wonderful to see familiar faces and hear familiar voices.  We talked about everything from sports (a somewhat mournful topic right now for baseball fans) to Zoom challenges, to how to stay home and thrive, to welcoming our newest members from Rochester, to the Daily Word.  It was one of the best hours of my entire week.

Now, a confession: I almost didn’t get on that call.

I had many “good” reasons to focus on other things (like work, for which I am grateful to still have) and, truthfully, I was feeling pretty blah. I don’t know about you, but I find myself going up and down in terms of everything right now. There are moments of grace where I feel fully alive and deeply connected to Spirit and others. And there are moments of disconnect, where I just want to put a pillow over my head. And the last thing in the world I want to do is get on another Zoom call.

I was having one of those pillow-over-my-head moments yesterday at 8:58 a.m. I was feeling grumpy and not at all sociable, to put it mildly. Yet, for reasons unknown, I hopped on the 9:00 call anyway, thinking I would give myself half an hour or so, long enough to listen to the Daily Word and meditation. Suffice it to say, one full hour later, I could barely tear myself away from a totally heart-warming, fun connection.

I was reminded of something we all know: our Unity community and spiritual beliefs can sustain us in these challenging times of life with COVID-19.  Creating close personal connection in a time of physical distancing makes a huge difference in the quality of life. We are people who need people. And according to the old song, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.

This morning, I am feeling lucky , indeed, to be able to pick up the phone or hit a computer link to connect with Unity Albany people, whether in a one-on-one call, the Sunday Fellowship calls, the Monday evening Prosperity Now calls, the Tuesday Heart to Heart gatherings, the Wednesday evening classes, the small ministry gathering Bill Newman has invited us all to join, the Thursday morning Prayer Hour with our chaplains, the Sunday service or, as of next week,  the  Thursday afternoon Grief discussion group with Patricia Hunt Perry and Rev. Steve.

Like some of you, I am not naturally drawn to screens. The woods, mountains, rivers and sky speak more to my innate longing. And yet, these phone and zoom  gatherings with you have fed my heart and brought joy,  have reminded me that Spirit is my source, that there are gifts to this pandemic as well as sorrow, and that love for one another sustains us and grows us.  At the same time as they have taught me how some people are grieving the loss of baseball in a way I don’t (well, not yet) and how when I can’t be with you all in person,  just hearing familiar Unity voices and seeing familiar Unity faces feels like Home. If you haven’t tried out any of these Unity gatherings, c’mon Home.

Come as you are, come as you aren’t. In whatever way works for you.  By Zoom, phone, email, prayer, contemplation, song or reflection. We love and miss you and are grateful for any moments of connection. Every single person in this community matters, is loved and needed in order for all of us to know who we are as a Church family.  Can’t wait to see you and be with you again. Until then, I hold you all in my heart.