Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 21

May 25, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Eight

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

This is a shout out to Gregg and Martha (Marty or Marte) Martin. Gregg is an IT guy working from home and Martha is a local teacher. They juggle work and guiding their two boys as they home school. They are heroes! Marty described how they do it for this blog.

Thank you for asking about this new online education process and what it feels like as a teacher. It does feel good to be able to share.

Distance learning in my house exists on many levels. I have a son who is in 4th grade, Donny, and a son who is in 8th grade, Gregg, and then of course myself, a teacher of 8th graders. Then of course my husband, Gregg, who works from home too. So, here is a snapshot of a day in our lives. 

Let me start by saying how lovely it sounds when people give the advice of “set a routine”, “make a schedule”, or “you need to have a plan for the day”. These are all wonderful, yet very unrealistic thoughts in our house. Here is why… 

My husband will wake up any time between 5:30 am and 7 am to get the dining room table set up for the family learning and log himself on to work. This consists of some kind of easy breakfast food for us to pick at (fruit, cereal, muffins, etc. and something for the boys to drink). He also puts out each person’s Chrome Book or Laptop. (We are lucky to each have our own for the day.)  Gregg has turned the upstairs guest room into his office, so he moves between there and downstairs throughout the day. I make every effort to wake up early, some days that works, other days it does not. It depends on how late I worked the night before. If I get up early, it is mommy time Yoga, if not, a quick shower, wake up the kids, and get downstairs. The goal is for everyone to be at the dining room table by 8:30 am with a fresh set of clothing and teeth brushed. Then I move to the living room for the first Zoom meeting of the day. While I am on my daily department meeting call (which I look forward to because it is outside adult contact) the boys must make a list of their assignments for the day, and check the times for their Zoom calls. Zoom calls require movement in the house so that we do not distract each other. You Zoom in the living room and do school work in the dining room. If Zoom meetings overlap, everyone shifts to find a quiet place, or mom goes to do chores (make lunch, prepare dinner, wash the breakfast dishes, etc.) while one child uses the dining room. Dad can’t move because he has phone calls all day. 

After my 9:00 am meeting, I go over schedules with the kids, check their Google Classroom on my own, and we plan who gets help first. This is what I mean about “making a schedule”. The “Schedule” for the day is completely reliant on the Zoom meetings, and Zoom meeting times change every day after mine at 9:00 am. Now it is probably 10 am and we can make a plan for …. Today! 

Then I dive in to help each of my sons with their work. Donny and I usually start with his reading while Gregg is either on a Zoom meeting or working on his daily work. Donny has to have his reading work completed by his Zoom meeting and this requires a lot of questions and typing. Sometimes to make sure he is done in time, he tells me what to type, and I type the answers for him. This way he will be ready on time. Then of course I might help Gregg with something he has to do. So while I do that, Donny will be either on a Zoom meeting, or practicing his instrument. Yes, we do that too! Practice, and record your assignments for the teacher. Sometimes I have to give up my laptop and trade for a Chrome book when we record because it does not work as easily on the Chrome books. That means closing out work and opening it up again on a new device. This pattern goes on most of the day. In between helping the boys (or when they are on their short breaks) I check in on the assignments with my students and look for emails and comments with student questions. I support my students as much as I can. 

Lunch is determined based on Zoom meetings, so we always eat at different times. If I cannot get time to make lunch, my husband comes down and takes care of it for us. 

Now the day is not just academics. We still have elementary school specials. One day is art, so Donny creates his artwork, then we take a picture of it and email it to the teacher. On Music day he has an additional Zoom meeting and then an assignment to complete. Gym is a few days a week so he has to log his activity for that. He also has a World Language class which includes another assignment on a specific website. 

Now weather permitting, we try to fit in a break outside at some point during the day. This again is decided at the start of the day when we find out the Zoom meeting schedules. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have enough time, at the same time, to go for a walk as a family. 

Now we also have Taekwondo classes, via Zoom, three days a week! This is fun, but more work. On those days, “all hands-on deck” is announced 20 minutes before class. This means we (my husband, the boys, and I) move living room furniture, vacuum, and get on our uniforms. While they get on the uniforms, I set up the laptop with Zoom. We have to use mom’s because it is the one that can hook up to the television easily, so that means me switching computers again. Class is about a half hour. Then one day a week we have a private lesson, and another day Donny has virtual dance class. 

It sounds a little hectic, but it all really works at a pretty even pace throughout the day. 

Of course, it is not always pretty. We get stressed out, and we all have moments of frustration. Sometimes I can’t help with math because I just do not understand 8th grade math. Then we email the teacher and ask for ANOTHER Zoom meeting for help. Or the questions on the reading for Donny’s science are harder than we thought. Or someone today has to work on an essay and it is hard for the teachers to help, so… mom helps. Some days mom is tired and not pleasant too. We all have at least one moment a day I think. We are learning ways to help each other through these moments too!

Then before I know it, Taekwondo (or dance) is over, the boys are finished for the day, and the house is rather quiet (unless Gregg is in the guitar -again), and I think great! My turn to do my work! Yeah! I can finally grade some papers and plan for tomorrow. But once I get set up I realize… it is time to make dinner. 

So off to the kitchen I go. I make dinner, put food in front of everyone, and head back to the computer for my work. If I am lucky I can get right to some grading without too many emails to read and respond to. If not… I start grading later. Many nights I do not stop until I look up to see that it is 11pm and I still have to post tomorrow’s work. So when I finally get to bed it is after midnight. I know I am not the only teacher up either because the shared documents show other people working, and the text messages and emails are still going. This is the time many of us help each other with learning new technology, seeing which students need more help, deciding if our plans are working, finding out how to make things more interesting, and on it goes.  

So that is a day in the life of what we call “Distance Learning”. It is not so terrible, but it is different. I love the time we have together as a family, even in the frustrating moments. We are lucky, my husband and I are employed. We have our health, we have a refrigerator full of food, we have plenty of “things” in our house to keep us from being bored, and we are all capable of doing the work that is assigned. 

I pray every day for a cure to this virus. I want to safely return to the classroom, and move the seats to surprise my students with new lessons every day. I love to see their faces when they walk in and wonder what we are going to do today because the room looks different. That is so much fun. They are interested and they do not even know it. For now I will ask my daily questions to see how they are doing and hope that I can figure out what they need. We will all do our best and hope that we are able to teach and learn what we need to for the next school year. 

Thank you for listening… 

Martha Martin 

May we all imitate these teaching/parent heroes.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#On-lineteaching                                                    #studentson-line

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:

https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 20 May 18, 2020 Heroes in Hard Times Part Seven

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

Parents with small children have hectic lives. Now with the children home and doing lessons online, the tasks of parents are even more difficult. Teachers have difficult times also, as they teach online. What happens when the teachers who are teaching online also are parents supervising the online learning of their own children? How about when both parents are teachers?

This is a shout out to Anthony and Maureen Senzamici.  Both are teachers who are rearing three boys. Somehow they manage to supervise their children while teaching others online. They are heroes! Maureen described how they do it for this blog.

Anthony generally meets online with students and assigns work in the mornings, and he grades completed tests, labs and assignments in the evenings.  Kevin and Luke are on a pretty fixed schedule with their schools in the mornings between 8:20-12:20.  Their schedule is such that they meet as though it were a half-day, and they continue to follow the typical rotating schedule of “A” and “B” days.  I have always had difficulty understanding it, but they seem to know it which is wonderful!  Connor and I generally work between 9:30-12:00, and he loves to have breaks for snacks and Legos!  My days, like Anthony’s, are a little staggered.  I Zoom with 80% of my students, and I communicate through phone with the remaining ones (Zoom is preferred, but some families have expressed preference for phone communication).  My hours can vary, but I have  few sessions between 8:30-9:30, and then I generally see students between 12:00-4:00.

In terms of preparation, the school districts had been sending out surveys inquiring as to the number of devices present in the house, how many people could be online at the same time.  At the time, I did not think of the implications of these surveys.  The older boys are essentially on their own, they report their own attendance, and they complete work.  They meet regularly with most classes through Google Meets.  As during the year, we receive a weekly summary.  Their teachers have continued to really reach out through providing extra help, and Kevin’s music teacher is putting together a virtual concert!

For Connor, the kindergarten team sends a weekly lesson plan with supplemental pages and websites.  There have been weekly, small group meetings with students on reading skills.  Beginning this week, Connor will receive supplemental reading instruction through a Basic Skills teacher (he was not formally on her caseload, but his reading skills are a little behind).  We are grateful for the support.  While the older boys are essentially independent, Connor’s instruction resembles guided homeschooling.  

Some of the blessings which have come out of this unwanted crisis which has so devastated so many beautiful souls physically and economically:

-We have enjoyed the increased family time.  There are fewer disruptions, and we have had more uninterrupted family dinners.  Although we absolutely love Little League and hope to God that Kevin can play sports this fall, there are often practices and games during the evenings.  It has been nice to have increased family time.  

-It has been a special gift to work individually with Connor.  The lessons have provided opportunities for multi-sensory experiences, and I’ve gained a sense of some of his strengths and challenges.  For example, I can see that he becomes distracted easily so we have spaced out work during his mornings.  Sometimes, when I have a work meeting, it gives him a nice break during which he can complete some independent work.  When we do reconvene, he seems more attentive than if we just worked side by side for a long time.

-This time together has forced civility.  As we are all working together, we need to be mindful of one another’s needs, i.e. who needs to sit where, when orchestra is occurring, etc.  It was a challenge initially, but it has worked out.

-The older boys alternate daily with taking Connor outside for the afternoon.  In this way, we avoid that problem of kids just “wasting the afternoons on electronics.”

-The school district has been outstanding in its response to COVID-19.  They have continued to provide the best instruction possible under the circumstances, and they have really reached out to students.  Connor’s principal at Gibbs Elementary School continues to send morning announcements, and he has joined in on Zoom meetings to wish a child a happy birthday!  The kindergarten team has worked together to modify instructions to best meet the students’ needs.  They have responded to parent requests for individual or small group meetings, and they have worked to master technology to reach out to students.  Thankfully, they have also preserved traditional instruction methods.

-At the middle school, teachers have demonstrated flexibility with learning.  They have connected their subjects to the pandemic (i.e. Kevin’s algebra teacher discussed exponential growth in relation to COVID-19 back in February, and his music teacher encouraged her students to use music to connect with one another).  They have demonstrated flexibility.  For example, Kevin’s algebra teacher is an intelligent man in his mid-60s and was clearly struggling initially with the online learning.  Kevin really likes this teacher, and he joked about how the students had to teach him the system.  He’s mastered virtual learning.  Kevin and Luke both have a social studies teacher with a 2-year-old and expecting another child, and she’s sometimes taught their classes with her child in her lap.  These are the moments that people will remember with a smile.

-This has been a learning curve for teachers.  At the outset, Anthony said we would be forced to learn technology, and it has been true.  I have never been a tech-savvy person, but we’ve all been required to learn this new method.  As a friend said, we’ve realized we all can do it.

-I believe there has been an increased sense of civility, politeness and gratitude.  I have personally been truly impressed at the ways in which the parents with whom I work, parents of children with very significant special needs, have adapted.  

-Our house is more in order.  We have done some family cleaning projects together too.

-On a personal note, I was inspired by my mom and a fellow catechist to read the Bible.  I know it shouldn’t take a pandemic for this to occur!  However, I am trying to carve out time daily for one chapter in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament.  

May we all imitate these teaching/parent heroes.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#On-lineteaching                                                      #studentson-line

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Heroes in Hard Times

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 19

May 11, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Six

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

This blog is a shout out to our newest church member who is battling Covid-19 in our state of New Jersey. He is Sergeant Marco Paez. He is part of a National Guard group who is doing important work in fighting the epidemic that has afflicted the whole world but has made New Jersey one of the “hotspots” of this virus. In the past he has been deployed to the Horn of Africa to help secure a United Nation’s base. Now he defends all of us from disease.

Marco has been assigned to be part of the 57th Group Task Force 2nd 113th Charlie Company.  He is activated at the Edison Convention Center. This building is a Covid-19 testing  center. The more testing that we do, the fewer virus carriers we will have. Testing is important.

It is sad but true that security is needed at our testing centers. One would hope that under such common threat, that people would behave well. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world and not everyone behaves well. Sergeant Paez is part of the security force that keeps order as people come in and wait to be tested. There would be chaos without these brave members of our National Guard.

The soldiers who have wives and children have an exceptionally difficult duty. To avoid any chance of them catching and spreading this virus to their families, they are housed near where they work. Only once a week they are allowed to go home to be a comfort to their spouses and families. These men and women spend a lot of time isolated from their loved ones as they do this work. The lives of military families is never easy!

Today we thank Marco and the members of the 57th Group Task Force for their hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. We are safer because they are diligent and self-sacrificing. Please say prayers of protection for Marco and these brave men and women.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#57GroupTaskForce                                               #MarcoXPaez

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 18 May 4, 2020 Heroes in Hard Times Part Five

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 18

May 4, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Five

This blog is a shout out to our Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps in general and specifically highlighting Melissa Naylis, a dear friend and Ambulance Corps member. I can’t claim Melissa for one of our own. She is a Presbyterian, and an elder at the local Presbyterian Church. I have worked many hours with her during our joint Vacation Bible School programs. I wish that I could claim her. She has a Christian heart that is reflected in her volunteering for the Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps (BVAC).

Melissa joined the ambulance corps in 2008. She is a state licensed EMT and has been an officer since 2011 and a served on various executive positions. She is a doer with a strong work ethic and a compassionate heart. She told me a few things about the ambulance corps.

It operates 365 days a year and 24 hours a day.

No patient ever gets a bill. (I know this for a fact. I was transported in one of the ambulances six years ago and never received a bill)

All of the members are volunteers and do not get paid.

Every member is a NJ  licensed EMT.

Each member is required to do continuing education each month.

During an average year the Corps responds to over 2,300 calls. This, of course, has risen during this time of Covid-19. Since the beginning of March, with the outbreak of Corona, their calls have risen by 28%. This, of course, increases the cost of what they are doing.

I am honored to be writing about Melissa, and the Bergenfield Volunteer Ambulance Corps (BVAC). I am humbled to know many of the Corps members and I am in awe of their dedication. May God bless Melissa and the others richly and reward them for this humble service.

Obviously, the corps needs money. All of the equipment and supplies comes from private donations. I hope that many folks who read this will be moved to support this Corps financially. For more information on the corps, Covid-19, or to donate, please see the links below:

www.bergenfield.com/coronavirus

www.facebook.com/BergenfieldOEM

www.facebook.com/BergenfieldVAC

paypal.me/bergenfieldvac.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#BVAC                                                                       #MelissaNaylis

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 17 April 27, 2020 Heroes in Hard Times Part Four

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 17

April 27, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Four

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

This is a shout out to Jeff Ambrosino who owns Nick’s Pizza on Main Street in Bergenfield. Don’t ask me why “Jeff” owns “Nick’s.” That is not part of this story. I get lunch from Nick’s fairly regularly. I am grateful that is was recommended to me when I first came to town almost fourteen years ago.  I’m usually there at least once a week. Often I meet people there that I know. I haven’t ever had a bad meal there but that isn’t part of the story.

Many police officers, fire fighters and ambulance corps members eat lunch there also and it is always a privilege to connect with them. Since the lock-down for the Covid-19 virus Jeff wanted to do something good for these first responders in our town and in adjoining towns. For those of you who do not know our area, the hotspot for Covid-19 is Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck. That is the town that is just south of us. We know, or know people who know, many of the first responders in the “hotspot.”

Jeff collects money from customers. For every five dollars he collects, he makes and donates a pizza to first responders and health care workers. Five dollars for a pizza? Those are yesterday’s prices. He clearly is contributing from his own resources. Well done, Jeff! Thank you.

Please support this cause. Come into Nick’s Pizza at 44 W Main St. in Bergenfield and put some money in the jar for this wonderful cause. Buy some lunch while you are there. What are my favorites? Either the Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich or the Stromboli!

Thank you, Jeff, for what you are doing. May we all imitate this behavior.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#Heros                                                                       #Nickspizzabergenfield.com

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 16 April 20, 2020 Heroes in Hard TimesPart Three

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 16

April 20, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Three

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

Our Mom’s told us not to do dangerous things. They tried to keep us “safe.” How many of us were punished as young people for “putting ourselves in danger.” Using the excuse that “Johnny did it,” usually got us the response, “if your friend jumped off a bridge would you jump also?”

Fortunately for all of us, some people ignore this advice and with their friends jump into danger. After doing so, they run back and do it again. I’m speaking of members of the police department, the fire department, hospital workers and our ambulance services. They ignore Mom’s advice and run into danger whenever there is a need.

Today, specifically, I highlight Tara and Jose Fox-Rivera. These two are part of our congregation and work in the very epicenter of the Covid-19 plague, Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, NJ. Since the first days of the Corona outbreak, Teaneck has had the dubious distinction of having the most virus outbreaks in our county. Holy Name Hospital has been inundated by cases, and for weeks, has been operating at capacity treating patients of these diseases. Tara and Jose have been very involved in the care of these patients.

I haven’t yet told you the best part. Each in turn, these two became ill because of Covid-19. First he contracted it and recovered and afterward, she became ill but also recovered. Now the two are back at work caring for Holy Name Hospital patients, most of whom are Corona patients. These two are doing more good things for the ill than most of us can only dream of. They are putting themselves at risk to give patients the loving, professional care that the sick deserve.

It is gives me pride to say that these two heroes are part of our congregation.

May we all imitate this behavior.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#HolyNameHospital                                                 #TeaneckNJ

#TaraFoxRivera                                                       #JoseRivera

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 15 April 13, 2020 Heroes in Hard Times Part Two

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 15

April 13, 2020

Heroes in Hard Times

Part Two

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

Have you ever saved a life? It is a good feeling. Some folks know this wonderful feeling while many people do not know this joy. One of our church members saved the lives of three different people. She did this not in a lifetime, but in less than a year!

The story begins last summer. Ruth is a frequent swimmer and member of a local pool. This particular pool has a depth of more than four feet in the center. She was standing in the center, enjoying the cool water when she heard a commotion behind her. A young boy had swim out too far and was now in water over his head. His older sister was trying to rescue him but she too was over her head in water.

Ruth looked toward the lifeguard whose attention was focused elsewhere. In desperation, looking at two children in trouble, she grabbed them both at once and pulled them as she walked toward shallow water. The frightened kids were grateful for her heroic actions.

So, what was the third rescue? Last week she was in the waiting room from a doctor. A man, whom she recognized as a local politician, started to exhibit bizarre behavior. Other patients were frightened, but she was not. She recognized diabetic behavior and quickly asked the man if he was a diabetic. He nodded his head. Quickly she gave him a snack from her always-available supply.

By the time an ambulance arrived, the man was greatly improved. The office staff thanked Ruth and assured her that she might well have saved the man from death. That was her third rescue in little more than six months. Well done, Ruth. You have done some remarkable acts. You do your congregation proud.

May we all imitate this behavior.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#Heros                                                                       #DoingTheRightThing

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 14 April 6, 2020 Heroes in Hard Times Part One

We are inundated with bad and scary news. During this month I will be doing blogs that celebrate heroes in our congregation. I hope that you gain some inspiration from these and receive a respite from the bad news that the media continues to feed us.

One member of our congregation, Bob, was a hospital patient a few months ago. He has had a few trips to the hospital in the past few months. I made sure that I was a frequent visitor. I made a final trip to visit him, as I knew that he would be discharged soon. During this visit he looked a bit odd. There was a rather pensive look on his face. When I asked him what the matter was he told me an amazing story.

His roommate had been quite an annoying person, constantly making noise and calling out. It was difficult for Bob to sleep at night, or get any peace to heal during the day. During the previous day of my visit, something changed. The man was suddenly quiet. Bob instinctively knew that something was wrong and alerted the hospital staff.

The roommate had cardiac-arrested. Soon there was a response team and the man was revived and moved to ICU. His family was summoned and they had a chance to be with him. This man passed on the next day, but not before his family had time to gather and bid him farewell.

Most folks after being annoyed by a roommate would simply be grateful for a quiet roommate. Had Bob done so, the family would have had this time of closure. Bob put his own desires aside for the sake of a stranger and gave a family this gift. Well done, Bob. You are a hero whether you know it or not.

May we all imitate this behavior.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#Heros                                                                       #DoingTheRightThing

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Corona: Some Good News

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 13

March 30, 2020

Corona: Some Good News

“They are only telling one side of the story.”

Have you heard that comment. People of all political beliefs, and people who favor one network over the other, all claim that the other party, or the “wrong” network only tells “one side of the story.” I don’t doubt that every person, and organization, has a point of view, a bias.

Recently I hear from some medical professionals that there really is only one side of a story being told. The story, according to these medical people, only focuses on illnesses and deaths, not recovery. According to these folks, as tragic as it is that people are getting sick and dying, most virus victims don’t die. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of those who get the virus recover. Newsweek magazine recently reported that more than 161,000 people worldwide have recovered after contracting the virus.

Some people simply recover on their own. Something in their constitution helps them survive the disease. Others have no such natural ability. They are alive because of wonderful, professional, dedicated health care workers. I bet there would be many more deaths if it were not for our heroic health care professionals.

I know that I am biased, but I bet the prayers of God’s faithful people had a part in these recoveries. This is a wonderful combination: dedicated professional health care workers, and faithful prayers. I can’t prove it, but I believe that in the course of history, millions of people have been saved through this combination.

If you are feeling depressed or overwhelmed, concentrate on the positive. 161,000 virus victims have recovered. Thanks be to God! Thank God to our health care workers. Thanks be to God for these recoveries.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#CoronaVirusSurvivors                                           #HealthCareWorkers

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 12 March 23, 2020 The Fruit of the Disposable

I am hearing reports from people in the health care industry of a critical shortage of protective masks. This has a great many health care workers worried about their own protection as well as the protection of their patients. In some cases, I am told, these masks are having to be reused until new supplies arrive. I think that we are now harvesting the fruit of our disposable world.

The first recorded use of surgical masks was recorded in 1897 by Paul Berger during an operation in Paris. Back then, like everything else, masks were cleaned and reused. I remember the debate in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s as hospitals began to transition from reusable equipment to disposable items. Some felt that throwing things away was a good idea because it would limit germ spread. Other folks felt that it would add costs and would cause problems with our landfill systems.

Now we depend on manufacturers of these masks, and untold other items for a constant supply, instead of cleaning and reusing them. Had we continued to stay away from the disposable, we would not be having a shortage. We are harvesting the fruit of our desire to throw away instead of clean.

My grandmother used to tell me stories of her days running a farm. A cloth was re-used in the outhouse, before the days of tampons other cloths were cleaned and re-used, a cloth towel was used in the kitchen instead of paper towels. Even napkins and diapers were cloth. Bottles were refilled instead of “recycled.” Who knows where they really get put? Were we to live like she did, there would be no such shortages of these items.

In the days of reusable, we had to work harder but we were less dependent on manufacture and supply. We are now reaping what we sowed when chose to be disposable and not eco-friendly reusable. I feel that this was a mistake that has cost us now with full landfills and short supplies of necessary goods.

Perhaps the next generation, those who are growing up in this crazy time of guarantee and shortage will demand that we return to reusable goods. We can only hope. Maybe it is time that we took our mandate to care for the earth a little more seriously.

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To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/