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COVID-19 Archive

Images and Stories from Vermont

Outside an Old Country Church


Outside an Old Country Church


I was inspired to write this poem after driving home through West Topsham, VT and noticing a sign outside a church that said, "In the Meantime Pray." The words felt haunting and hopeful at the same time, and got me thinking about prayer and what it means. I think prayer can take different forms beyond the traditional sense; it could be writing a poem, singing a song, spending time in nature, or just listening to someone. Staying connected is especially important during this time, and we all have our unique ways of bringing peace, of reaching out with love and understanding. This poem is, in a way, a prayer of my own.


Rachel Funk


April 8, 2020


Rachel Funk

Spatial Coverage


Outside an Old Country Church

A sign said:

“In the Meantime Pray.”

There is so much meantime
So many hours. So much waiting.

People are scared. People are

A little prayer couldn’t hurt.

But how, in the meantime,
could prayer help?

I wonder if prayer is a verb,
a living thing.

What if prayer

is the way you stare at the clouds
in the morning
and think of someone?

The way you share
with children?

How you marvel
at a blossoming tree?

How you hear
someone in pain?

Any kind of prayer could help.

So, in the meantime, pray,
reach for the heavens,
if that is something you do.

And if you do not,
or cannot,

let your prayer

be your mouth, open in song,

your hands, weaving words and colors,

your voice, bringing shelter and peace.




Rachel Funk, “Outside an Old Country Church,” COVID-19 Archive, accessed November 27, 2022,