DAY 278 (it seems) COVID-19 Thoughts from the Pastor:
Our church family is finding adherence to the COVID-19 social restrictions exacerbated by the select reopening of stores and businesses. If I can go to Home Depot, then why can’t we get together for worship? There are good reasons.
It seems as a society, we’re willing to assume a fair amount of risk in order to prevent a devastating recession and the permanent closure of businesses, big and small. As a church, however, we are not threatened by closure or permanent damage to the institution. In fact, one might make the case this moment in history, if viewed through the proper lens, will actually serve to enhance the church’s capacity for mission and ministry as we learn new skills and find which parts of our former life were non-essential. With the threat to the vitality of the church being so low, we need not assume the risk- or rather ask the most fragile among us to assume the risk- of resuming our normal meetings too soon. We can persevere.
That said, we are foolish if we think the ongoing separation is not taking its toll. In many ways, we are struggling. It makes sense, because we are made for relationships, so when there are limited opportunities to nurture those relationships, spiritual and emotional atrophy should be expected. It falls to the leadership of the church to discern ways to mitigate those negative effects, so:
- We are still worshiping together. While we prefer to be in the same room, there is something beautiful about being bound together in the Spirit as we are apart. And please know, we’re making improvements to the livestream to increase audio/visual quality. I know it is not the same as in-person worship, but it is not nothing either.
- We are still studying and praying together. Wednesday evening ZOOM times have been rich, and in the next few weeks, you’ll see more opportunities.
- We are still serving together. We’ve doubled the capacity of the food pantry and responded on a global scale with mission offerings.
- We are still living together. Life in Christ is about being a light in whatever circumstance you are in. Remember Acts 16- Paul and Silas were singing together in jail. You are the designated light-bearing on your street. Show life!
Yes, it is hard to physically stay apart from the rest of the body, but we do so knowing we can and will persevere because Jesus is still Lord, and we are still the church!
Hang in there,