“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Hellen Keller
The year was 1996. Hartland High School, an average-sized school located in between two cornfields, was trying to make a name for itself on the Michigan high school sports scene. Led by a feisty but lovable coach named Jack Peters, a talented, determined and hard-working group of softball players finally achieved greatness by winning their first-ever state softball title that year. The team was united around the phrase, “Together We Will,” and Together They Did! Coach Peters would jokingly ask them, “Together we will what?” But humor was one of the many ways he dealt with the loss of one of his star players four years earlier. Many of the girls on the team knew Beth personally, and those who didn’t learned about her and were inspired hearing her stories, seeing her pictures and ultimately wanting to do something to honor her.
Fast-forward to Saturday, May 2nd, 2020, the day scheduled for the 20th Annual Beth Moffat Memorial Golf Outing. Inevitably, the golf outing was postponed, likely until next year. However, thanks to the increasingly popular Zoom virtual meeting technology, 30 people joined together to once again honor Beth and all of the amazing young women who won the scholarship bearing her name. The virus would not keep people from celebrating! Beth’s mom Dianne and step-father Tom joined from Arizona, as well as friends and family from California, Florida, Ohio and several places in Michigan. Steve Pierce, a professional singer from Ann Arbor sang the national anthem beautifully, a song most needed at a time like this. An invocation was given, followed by a slide show, a new video created featuring seven of the scholarship winners, and then finally the presentation of the brand-new winner for this year. I reminded all of the people on the call about the slogan from that 1996 championship year, and once again, together we did!
Yesterday, on Mother’s Day 2020, for the first time in a little over two months, members from The Well Church in Brighton, Michigan, gathered together in their cars outside the church for a drive-in church service. The smiles on people’s faces were bigger than I ever remembered them – you could feel the positive energy and the joy from everyone being reunited again. Was it different? Yes, absolutely. But it was a much-needed first step in the re-entry process for everyone who has sheltered in place for almost two months now. We need human connection and thrive on it. I’m so encouraged by all the stories I’ve heard from friends and colleagues who have used this season to get to know themselves and their families better. Now it is time for us to get back into our communities and start the work which will forge our new normal in the days ahead. Together We Will, and Together We Can!!! Be the change you want to see in the world. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with you!