The Dean’s Corner: Praying Shapes Believing

The Dean’s Corner

Thriving Through Adaptability

This past week I visited my father after more than 18 months apart. We’ve spoken frequently over Zoom but for a handful of medical reasons Dad couldn’t risk the potential exposure to COVID that travel would mean.  I made plans to visit this week, just under the wire before my children returned to school, so after weeks of extra caution and a negative COVID test I was finally able to see him.

Amid our adaptations to “the new normal” I am reminded of the hardships and losses of the season…18 months is just too long to go without seeing someone you love.

And yet, I am grateful for those adaptations that made our visit possible, from vaccines to mitigation strategies to careful planning around school schedules where the spread among unvaccinated children is likely. I am grateful to be surrounded by a community of people – both in my family and neighborhood and church – where our cautious and intentional planning creates zones of greater safety. I am grateful for the masks and the practices that allow us to have connections that even a year ago were impossible.

Among our mitigation strategies, perhaps the greatest is our capacity for adaptability.  As we live with the “new normals” that bend from weeks to months and beyond – and then change again – I encourage us to nurture and strengthen our muscles for adaptability. Because in that we find the ability not only to survive a pandemic, but the tools for thriving in the midst of it.


The Very Rev. Bernard J Owens