• Pastor Emily

We Thrive Together!

by Colleen Soldate


Sitting on the porch swing, my eyes follow the sound of the relaxing rhythm of the wind chimes hanging underneath our patio. Carpenter Bees flutter about as they search for the exact spot to tunnel their way into the wood to lay their eggs. It is incredible how such tiny insects can drill holes in wood. Unlike Covid-19, these bees do not pose a public health threat, but can do a lot of cosmetic damage to the wood where they build their nests. Luke, our neighborhood beekeeper, once told me that in the bee kingdom these little oval shaped bees are classified as essential because they pollinate plants that are ignored by Honeybees. Is it possible that I have sheltered in place way too long that it has me comparing bees to the pandemic?


My attention is sidetracked by a white butterfly gliding past the swing and delicately settles on a snowdrop bush in full bloom. Captivated by God’s creation, my eyes slowly lower and the uncertainty of today fades away. To my delight, I find myself standing in the Sanctuary soaking in the majestic sound coming from the organ played by our organist, John Pavik. There is a sense of excitement in being together and anticipation of worshiping together to hear God’s Word.


Dee and Lloyd Chelli sitting in the back pew on the righthand side happily chatting away with Jim and Wynn Batchelder. Martin and Jan Grove smiling and laughing as they visit with Norm and Cynthia Kramer. Patrice and Steve Frary stopped to greet Gayle and Preston Paull. All around the sanctuary everyone was greeting one another with smiles, hugs and laughter. Jean and Gordon Duffy surrounded by love as they made their way to the front of the church. Everyone was in their regular spots. Just as our Choir Director, David Irvine, stands the choir in unison rises. The wonderful mixture of Chris Studer and Penny Cleary voices lead us in singing “Fairest Lord Jesus.” And at the sound desk is Rich Mason and managing the overhead equipment is Leigh Rodriguez.

Full of joy, my eyes wander and see Dennis Lucas sitting next to friends, Gretchen Merry and Gail and David Burson. Marcia McDonald stands at the entrance with Alma and Bob Evans welcoming everyone and handing out bulletins. It feels so right! And then it gets even better as the little ones, David and Thomas Brant scurry to the front of the church leaving their parents, Diana and Jeff following closely behind. As we sing and praise God, we are assured our family is complete as we gaze upon our Pastors, Dale, Emily and Kent sitting behind the podium. Everyone’s head is bowed as Elaine Carlson begins the morning prayer…when suddenly a dog’s bark gets louder and louder and finally jerks me back to reality only to realize I must have been dreaming.


My short-lived happy place suddenly came to a halt! You might be like me and long for us to all be together again. Like the Carpenter Bees who return each year in search of a safe place to lay their eggs, we to seek safety under God’s protection as we live in community together. No matter what it will look like, one day soon we will be together to worship. For now, I hold tight onto my dream and wait patiently for God’s time. A friend, Laurel Quest, share this wonderful message, “God’s timing is perfect! Regarding answered prayers, He is never early and rarely late.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” No matter if we face uncertainty, the one thing that has been, is and always will be consistent is God who loves us and wants the best for us.


Until we are together,


Colleen Soldate

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1550 Pacific Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95404

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