Minister’s Message for June, 2022

The following are excerpts from Rev. Sharon Wylie’s sermon “Recovering from the Pandemic” offered on May 22, 2022. You can watch the full sermon on Chalice’s YouTube channel.


I have three ideas to share with you, three affirmations, three teachings. Use these like a mantra, over and over again, to get yourselves through the hard times.

The first: Be gentle with yourselves. You know this one; I’ve been saying it for years, and I’ve been saying it again and again during the pandemic. We’re exhausted and traumatized. We’re forgetful and overwhelmed. We’re confused and unmotivated. For the past 6 months, at the bottom of my emails has been my pandemic status: Slogging through the foggy mud, doing the best we can. It is okay to set aside the to-do list in favor of going for a walk, visiting with a friend, or just watching tv.

When you’re really having a hard day, take care of yourself like you were a child with a cold. Cuddle up in a soft blanket. Have some tea or cocoa. Be gentle with yourselves.

Now the second teaching is in some tension with the first. It is this: You can rise to the occasion. Even more simply: You can do it. There are times that having a positive mindset can make all the difference. Think of what we know about the placebo effect; our minds are so powerful that believing we have taken medicine effects the body in a positive way, as if we actually took medicine. It matters how we frame the challenges we face.

If we are only gentle with ourselves everyday, we might neglect to pay our bills, take out the trash, and fulfill the obligations of living. If we ONLY tell ourselves to rise to the occasion, we may find ourselves more and more exhausted every day. The skill you will be building and experimenting with is learning which affirmation serves you the best at what times. Be gentle with yourselves. Rise to the occasion.

And the third teaching is to show up and keep showing up. The pandemic has taught us to stay at home. We need to rebuild our muscles of going places and doing things, not because there is any inherent value to being busy, but because there is healing that comes from being out in the world and being with other people….

Sometimes we have to make ourselves do things we don’t feel like doing because we know we will feel better once we’ve done them.

Keep showing up. Keep showing up for the people in your lives, for your church community, keep showing up for your own life.

Be gentle with yourselves. Rise to the occasion. Keep showing up.

Be gentle with yourselves. Rise to the occasion. Keep showing up.

May it be so.


Blessings and love to you,