Parishioners and clergy alike have lately been combing through parish records, searching for clues as to what life was like during the flu pandemic of 1918.  Someday, probably sooner than we think, the things we are experiencing today will be fading memories.  A hundred years from now, members of the St. Bartholomew's community will be asking what life was like during the coronavirus pandemic.  We have an opportunity to answer their question today.

St. Bart's is collecting personal reflections about what we have been thinking and feeling and doing during this historic time.  These reflections will be posted to this webpage as well as preserved in church records.  In the Nicene Creed, we affirm our belief in the communion of saints.  We are in communion with all those who will come after us, and someday they will want to hear from us.

An Invitation:
We are all in this together.  Those words are as true today as they have ever been.  It is also true that we are each experiencing this as the unique individuals that we are.  Because you are an integral part of our faith community, our message to posterity can never be complete without your contribution.  Please take a little time to share your own personal reflection. 

Submitting Your Reflection:
Please submit your reflection to covidmemories@stbartsbeaverton.org so we can post it to this webpage.
Please indicate whether you want your reflection to include your first name, or first and last name, or the name of your family e.g. "The Jones Family"

Be sure to check back periodically to see what your friends and neighbors have had to say, and thank you for being part of this project.

I have watched my one-year-old nephew go from a baby to a little boy from six feet away.  He knows my voice but doesn't remember what it feels like to be wrapped in my arms.  When I think about the people who are gathering in the streets to protest the ongoing state-sanctioned violence against the Black community, my heart is with them. The rest of me, however, is on the couch, eating ice cream and watching Downton Abbey.  That isn't the worst part.  The worst part is that part of me is secretly relieved that the pandemic gives me an excuse not to go downtown and put my money where my Rocky Road is.
 
Three and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) with Agoraphobia.  When the pandemic hit and the Governor issued her stay-at-home order, I had already been sheltering at home for three years.  In almost every practical way, coronavirus changed nothing for me.  In many of the ways that really count, it changed everything.  Pretty much since the moment I got sick I have been planning on getting better.  I love live music, people, and being productive.  I have been living for the day when I can attend a concert, get together with some friends, and get a job.  Even though I was sick at home, I knew that all of that was out there waiting for me.  Right at this moment, it isn't.  My brain is adept at creating an atmosphere of fear, paranoia, and suspicion.  Coronavirus creates the very same atmosphere in the world around me.  This is not a stellar combination for my mental health.  Also, I am in desperate need of a pedicure.
 
And yet.  I used to feel like I was so different.  I felt like everyone else was out having fun and making contributions and I was standing on the sidelines.  I haven't felt that way for six months.  For the first time in three years, I feel like I am the same as everybody else, stuck at home and slowly but surely turning into Jack Nicholson's character from The Shining.  Coronavirus has made me feel (dare I say it?) normal.  I stayed home for three years worth of Sunday mornings, a lonely victim of faulty wiring in my brain.  Now that church services are being broadcast online, a connection has been restored for myself and people like me.  There it is, once again unfolding before me, my beloved Anglican liturgy.  I feel weird talking about the up side of the deadly pandemic that is wreaking havoc on the world, but there it is.
 
I want to hug the people that I love.  Heck, at this point, I want to hug anyone.  I want to sit with my nephew in my lap and read the same board book over and over for as long as he'll let me.  I want to eat in a restaurant and go to the altar rail for communion.  Sometimes I feel like none of that will ever happen again and I despair.  Sometimes I feel like if I can just hold out a little while longer all will be well.  Most of the time, I feel like today is just another day and I think about the things that are right in front of me: laundry, dishes, naps, a pile of books, and good old Downton.  I am grateful that the people I love have, mostly, stayed healthy thus far.  I am terrified and I am hopeful.  I prefer hopeful.
-Michelle Millar

Please consider adding your own reflections....a few sentences or many paragraphs....you choose what you want those who come after us to know about this Most Unusual Time.

Email your reflections to welcomehome@stbartsbeaverton.org

Thank you and stay healthy!