Your Joint Boards began a conversation this past week,
one we will continue in a series of upcoming weekly meetings,
to discern together answers to the questions
“What can we be doing in together in different sorts of ways now?” and
“When we are able to resume in-person gatherings, what will that look like?”
Both through gradually beginning to hold more small group or committee meetings via Zoom (a tele and video conferencing platform) and reaching out in conversation with many of you, we are seeking to find meaningful ways to connect that don’t require us to be in-person to do so. And we are starting to think through the next steps once we have permission to gather again, which may likely be in smaller groups first. First and foremost, we acknowledge that most of our gatherings fall into Phase 2 or Phase 3 of Governor Cooper’s plans. There is not a firm timeline we can offer you for that in terms of dates on a calendar yet. Please know that we will gradually be seeking and offering opportunities to be the church even if we aren’t in the church building – an important practice for any church family.
What you can do right now:
Send a card or a make a phone call to anyone else in the church family.
I think we are all hungry for a conversation with someone
we haven’t seen or heard from in weeks.
Pray, be in prayer for those who are sick or involved in caring for the sick,
be in prayer for those experiencing job loss and economic hardship,
be in prayer for creative ideas and plans to connect us as a church family,
for volunteers ready to help implement them,
and for me and our Joint Board as they try to listen to you and God’s leading to guide us through this time.
Be in prayer for our CE committee as we reimagine our plans
for a Congregational Bible Adventure together instead of VBS this Summer –
creating another way for us to be together no matter our ages
and dreaming up projects to do good in our community
while we can’t do the usual face to face things.
If you have thoughts about something that can keep us connected or collectively do good in the community that can be done while maintaining good physically distancing, don’t just suggest an idea – think through the logistics of it (can it be done during shelter in place or when only fewer than 10 should be gathering? what would it require to happen?), reach out to others who might have interest and help to implement it, and share it with me or talk it through with a board member as a proposal for us to consider the feasibility and places where it might dovetail with other similar ideas or committee undertakings.
The first steps of a few ideas and ways that you might be able to connect, even if from a distance, will be coming in the week ahead… hopefully more will follow in the weeks ahead.
Please know you are loved and treasured, even as we cannot come together in this time. Remember the church is not closed in this time because none of your lives are closed, WE ARE THE CHURCH, only the building in which we gather isn’t open and that is for the safely and wellbeing of us all during this time.
in Christ’s abiding presence, Pastor Christy