I can feel myself beginning to get impatient. Some people are naturally patient but I’m not. I work to cultivate patience through thoughts and prayers. But my mind is constantly twirling with next things, plans, ideas and possibilities. Although I’ve been very occupied during this stay-at-home time, sometimes now my patience wears thin with it all. I want to be back with people, gathering in person, traveling.

One way I cultivate patience is by breathing. That may sound odd, but when I sit and take time to breathe deeply, concentrating on breathing in God’s loving Spirit, fully taking that in, and slowly breathing out the love of God, sending it into the world, I find that I am more calm and able to refocus on the truly important things of life.

Right now the health and safety of you, me, my family and our extended church family is what is most important. If we don’t remain healthy and strong (both as individuals and as a church) then we can’t do the work that God sets before us. So, for a while yet we will not have in-person gatherings at church for worship, study or meetings. A Leaders’ Team is faithfully working on a plan for reopening our buildings when the time is right. A summary of their plan will be in the Messenger on June 3.

By now you know our church is open and we continue to do many things including worship, classes, meetings and mission projects. “Who’s With Me Tonight?” is on Facebook live every Monday-Friday at 7 p.m. You do not have to have a Facebook account to go to the St. Mark’s Facebook page and watch. Another opportunity to connect is “Coffee With the Pastor” at 11 a.m. June 7 on Zoom.

So, breathe with me. This Sunday, May 31 is Pentecost. That day we celebrate the beginning of the Christian church with the coming of God’s Spirit to Jesus’ early followers. This year I’m talking about “Breath of the Spirit.” In these times it is especially important to commit to listening, watching for and taking in God’s Spirit of love. It is equally important to breathe out that love into a world that aches for good news.

Please pray with me: Holy One, this week’s news is full of violence, injustice and anger. Send your Spirit upon the face of the earth and empower people to seek justice and bring hope and love. Heal the sick and care for those who are caring for them. Help leaders hear your voice of wisdom amid the chaos and uncertainty. Strengthen us to be your true followers, breathing love into your world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.