Is your head spinning?

K-12 schools are closed. Restaurant dining rooms are closed. Local courts are extremely restricted. People can’t find toilet paper and Clorox Wipes are an endangered retail species. Public gatherings are limited in an attempt to curb the COVID-19 pandemic effect here.

It would be easy in the world we’re living in, to be caught up in the whirlwind of abrupt changes to our daily routines.

But I’m healthy and producing newspaper content from home. I’m not home-bound, but I’m one of many people tackling my job outside the office.

My son, a college student, is wondering how he’s going to return his rental books to school since he’s going to finish this semester in online study.

Wednesday was his birthday. We couldn’t take him out to a restaurant to celebrate, but we did order take-out from the restaurant across the street from our home. We chomped down on pizza and sang “Happy Birthday,” then broke open a six-pack of red velvet cupcakes.

My husband is working outdoors. He’s smart, exercising social distancing and just practicing his “pay attention” instincts cultivated from Cub Scouts and the U.S. Marine Corps.

My dog is confused by my extended weekday presence in the house — by the prescription computer eyeglasses I’m wearing — and by the police radio scanner that rudely interrupts his snoring.

My living room is my newsroom — but that’s not a new thing for me. Over the past couple of decades, I’ve had reasons to work from home.

I am constantly updating our newspaper’s content with the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic precautions in our county, but I am also constantly allowing my spirit to be boosted with uplifting, calming assurance from my Savior.

My living room is my newsroom, but it’s also my worship center. The benefit of working from home is cranking up a video of a friend’s Wednesday night livestream church service over in Owensville. I also watched a video from my pastor detail how we can worship Sunday and see a sermon — and empowering us to remember in these times, the Church has left the building!

I’m sure your churches are doing the same. I’m watching a lot of their words of inspiration. Your churches are my churches. Because we are one Church.

2 Timothy 1:7 (The Passion Translation) — For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control.

The Apostle Paul wrote those words to Timothy, but the verse before it says this: I’m writing to encourage you to fan into a flame and rekindle the fire of the spiritual gift God imparted to you when I laid my hands upon you.

He was writing from afar to remind him to rekindle! Don’t let a spirit of fear take over your life. Let’s all be wise, but not fearful or dejected. Maybe you can’t lay your hands in prayer upon a person right now, but you can certainly lift a bold prayer of protection on behalf of anyone who is a front-line responder to our needs in this pandemic. You can lift anyone who is sick up in prayer. You can do good works.

Remember the building is not the church. We are the church. My living room is my worship center. My bathroom shower or my car is my prayer war room.

As we go through these pandemic precautions together, I’m borrowing a few of the words that one of my pastors posted on Facebook: “...Encourage one another. Pray for one another... This is the time to gather and let the love of Jesus show through to the world...”

Amen, wherever we are, we’re the Church!

Email Andrea Howe at

— Email Andrea Howe at

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