John Donne’s poem comes to mind –
No man is an island entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were;
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
This sense of personal loss is only intensified by our world of political polarization, growing international com-petition, economic inequalities and ideological hostilities.
One longs for “brothers to dwell in unity” as “the blessings of life forevermore.”
Is it too extravagant an idea that the Christian churches of Vermont and New Hampshire might become the Mt. Hermon from which the unifying dew of God’s blessings flow to the special anointing of all whom we meet? My faith tells me that as we live in unity of spirit, energy and creative imagination, that much is possible.
For me, much of my loss is compensated by my making new friends – in short, by being a friend: listening, caring and supporting in Christian love. My prayer for this time becomes: “Lord, help me to be sensitive to others in ways that communicate understanding and empathy, followed by prayerful support.
- Richard Painchaud
Randolph United Church and their pastor Roger Wotton
First Baptist Church, Readsboro and their pastor John Brigham
First Baptist Church, Richford and their pastor Tim Stetson