On Tuesday, more than forty parishioners and community members gathered in Hobson Hall to participate in BREAD’s Nehemiah Action. The Nehemiah Action took place outside of a church in North Columbus, but since it was live-streamed, we decided to have a watch party. Some amazing volunteers made picnic boxes so that we could safely eat together, and we wheeled the big screen TV into Hobson Hall. The action itself was very successful, highlighting BREAD’s accomplishments in pushing for Affordable Housing and Police Reform, and building allegiances with public officials and other justice organizations.
For me, personally, it was a test of how safely we can socialize here at the end of the pandemic. It was amazing to have children in the church building again, to watch them playing in the courtyard through the windows of Hobson Hall, and to hear their laughter and chattering voices. Something as simple as walking into the kitchen on Tuesday morning to find a crew of volunteers, masked and with food preparation gloves on, working together with all the familiarity of old friends, was deeply moving. Things aren’t quite normal yet, but there is an opening up. As we find our way back to in-person gatherings, we will do so safely, and always with the awareness that many places in the world are still suffering profoundly.