Letters From Our Pastor

Only Connect: A Postcard From the Socially Distant

May 4, 2020 by Rev. Dr. Michael Jinkins

“Only connect.” I’ve had that little phrase bumping around in my head lately. “Only connect.” “Only connect.”

Those of you who enjoy English lit, will know it comes from E. M. Forster’s novel, “Howard’s End.” The social circumstances of the story are different in many ways from our own these days. But, still, in the midst of a historic pandemic, this little phrase carries a lot of meaning, and a lot of hope.

Last Friday, David Brooks wrote a fascinating column in The New York Times in which he talked about the “weavers” in our society. That’s what he calls those who are working to draw us to together rather than to divide us from one another. Brooks noted that while we tend to hear most about the dividers (because they are loud and rude), the weavers out-number the dividers by far. The weavers are all around us. Quietly, tenaciously, compassionately: they are building and supporting social relationships in a time that threatens community, connecting us to one another by hook and crook and whatever is available.

The thing I’d like us to notice today is this: we are the weavers; you are the weavers.

Saint Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church is known far and wide as a loving, healthy, congregation that thrives on community and service. Our finest hours have always been in times of danger and difficulty and loss. And so it is today.

Wherever you are hunkered down there’s weaving going on. You are calling folks. Listening to them. Hearing their worries and fears and speaking a kind word to them. Writing texts and emails. Caring for others in every way possible. You are weaving faster than those good folks out in the Hebrides turning sheep into tweed.

“Only connect.” “Only connect.” “Only connect.”

Why? Because God was in Christ connecting the whole world to himself.

God bless you, friends!


Michael Jinkins
St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church