Being the Church
During these days when we are each experiencing varying degrees of self-isolation and sacrifice, I suspect that you may be like me, longing for the welcoming solace and fellowship of congregating for worship in the sacred space of our sanctuary at St. John’s. You may be missing the camaraderie of the weekly or monthly gatherings of ministry committees or groups like Prayer Shawls or Good Book Club, even the more task-oriented Finance Committee, Vestry, Worship Committee and Altar Guild. When will we ever see a Movie Night or participate in an Adult Forum again? And, Dear God, we miss our Coffee Hour.
We all know, though we find it easy to forget, that the church building is not The Church. We, the people, are The Church. (“This is the church, this is the steeple; Open the doors and see all the people.”)
This morning I received a survey from Luther Seminary asking those of us who are involved there to respond with the ways we are keeping our churches together right now. I look forward to spending some thoughtful time today completing it, because I believe we are doing our best to step up to that challenge. And I know that when I see the results, I will have much to share with you about how other churches are proclaiming their faith and love for each other and their neighbors as well.
In the meantime, know this: We are doing what we can to continue being The Church, through Zoom Coffee Hours and GBC Bible Study every Sunday, Zoom Ministry and Vestry Meetings, our Facebook page, our website and this newsletter. We are making pastoral phone calls daily, and we would encourage you to use whatever communication technology you have to do the same.
I am hopeful that we will be able to do some youth and adult formation via Zoom, including perhaps re-starting the Adult Forums is some fashion. I know Betsy has done some wonderful Godly Play for our youth using website video.
Perhaps this techno-creativity will move you to either suggest or facilitate something that we have not yet tried, so that we can continue Being the Church in our present physical isolation.
I recently heard the celebrated Minnesota epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm say that he abhors the term “social distancing” and much prefers to call it “physical distancing” because, he says, we cannot and must not be distancing ourselves socially.
So, Creative God, awaken your Spirit within us and motivate us to resume and continue our social connection with each other – with our Church – by engaging in the opportunities already available to us and by helping to devise new ways for us to meet and know you and each other in this time of physical isolation.
Have a Blessed Week!