It’s been a grim 2020: many of us have been ill or lost work and suffered in isolation. We’ve also seen our country even further divided on all sorts of serious issues. But at the same time, I’ve seen some great things here in our church. Pastorally, many of us have thrived in 2020, gaining new spiritual disciplines, meeting in small groups, like the one at Longwood, and letting go of things that have failed us. We’ve also enjoyed every little step towards worshiping together again and this weekend (as I write in early September) was the first time in six months that we served Holy Communion to over 100 people.
There are lots of good things coming up. I’m enjoying our mini-series on Biblical Justice, and I’m excited to be studying the book of James in October and November. James continues the theme of justice and ends with a much-needed message of healing and hope.
In terms of meeting together, although we anticipate a few setbacks to come, our outdoor service has been great so far. Hearing the congregation laugh, cry and pray instead of just looking down a camera lens and getting a sympathy laugh from Tami is wonderful.
We’ll be adding congregational singing soon, planning a worship night outdoors, and we’ve taken several steps inside the building to make it safe for worship again once the weather changes. If cases remain low, we have a plan to return to three services a weekend inside the building again soon. We will have children’s and youth ministry inside, small groups mid-week, and we’re also renovating the Discipleship House giving us a whole new place for meetings and small groups at a time when clean and spacious well-ventilated rooms will be at a premium.
Maybe you’re feeling tired with all of these announcements, livestreams, sign-ups, weird technical glitches, temperature checks, and smelling your own breath during the liturgy (or maybe it’s only me and you’re all relieved that I’m wearing a mask now). I recently saw an athlete on Facebook running on a treadmill, but the treadmill was immersed in a tank of water. If I’m being honest, it does feel a bit like that working here sometimes. I think we’re all working twice as hard to achieve about half as much. Back in March we undertook to call every household, and it took me until August to get to the end of my alphabetical list. I suspect the Adams’ think we’re doing a great job and the Wisner’s think we stink! Sorry.
I love you all greatly, so if we struggle to be as pro-active as we were ordained to be, please do contact us and let us know if there is anything we can pray for or help with at all. We love to hear from you, meet for drinks or a meal, and every interaction is worth it. Perhaps one thing I’ve learned, is never to take time together for granted again.
Love in Christ,