February 8, 2024

Feb 7, 2024


For the first time in over a year I worshiped in person at St George’s on Sunday October 15th.  My reasons for becoming a “St G’s YouTuber” were legitimate. At first it was the need to protect our immune compromised daughter from potential exposure to Covid. Since August of last year, it’s been a nasty case of Long Covid I developed after a very mild case of the illness itself.
I know I am lucky. I have had no lingering respiratory or cardiac problems that plague so many people with Long Covid. Rather, my constant companion has been exhaustion. I could go to bed at 8 PM, sleep until 10 AM, nap at 3 PM, then hit the repeat button. Day after day after day.
When I hit the one-year mark, blood work showed I had developed good ole fashioned iron deficiency anemia, the kind that required intravenous iron infusions to fix. Three weeks after I had the final infusion, something amazing happened: I woke up without an alarm clock at 7:30 AM. I usually roll over to catch a few more Zzzs, knowing if I do, Jim will have my coffee ready for me when I get up. I still tire easily and my lifelong battle with insomnia has returned, nevertheless I am thrilled.
During my absence I never felt disconnected from St George’s. Father Ryan called to check on me frequently and I had our Reflection group meetings to go to on Zoom. Nancy Davison dragged me to Norma’s Restaurant every couple of weeks, and when I could break away from family dinners that included my grandson, I joined the Wednesday evening knitting group.
Most important was the church’s continued broadcasting of services on YouTube. It is a life saver. A blessing. With headphones on, I can hear every word of every sermon clearly, leading me to ponder Father Ryan’s message more than I might if I were sitting in church. And I can listen to it again.
In fact, I got so interested in the Easter 2022 Sermon, I found myself researching the artwork of Sir Stanley Spencer and his paintings of the resurrection of the villagers of Cookham, England.
But there are things YouTube cannot replace: singing hymns– and with the choir, greeting people during the Peace, and most importantly, taking communion.
Feeling healthier was cause for a celebration. And I knew exactly where! St George’s.
When I first wrote this I had hope for the best, but it was not to be. I reinjured an old back injury while visiting my sister’s in VA on Nov 2. Now at the end of January I am finally able to return to church–partly because July Littlefield convinced me it was no big deal to show up with a walker. I wanted to be there the Sunday after Mike Cocco died to mourn with my choir friends and to be with Sally. Nancy Devour kindly took my hand so I didn’t need the walker to take communion. I still can’t promise perfect attendance, but I still felt as I did in October–that St George’s is a family. My family.
I knew I was home. Back where I belong.

Barbara Kautz

PS. I will be forever grateful to Father Ryan, Harry Mussman, Bill Yorston, and Melanie Kyer  and the rest of the team of techno-experts who make YouTube work every Sunday.