This past Sunday afternoon through yesterday morning Dcn. Sue and I attended the annual Clergy Conference. This year it was held at the Claggett Center just outside of Frederick.
Over the past two days we had time to reconnect with friends and colleagues. We worshiped often. We played some games. We had meaningful conversations with others. We were able to have some quiet time, and we relaxed.
These are all things everyone can do at some point – you don't need to be clergy to do them, and you don't necessarily need to go away to accomplish them.
As we continue to rebound from the pandemic, first and foremost remember that even though we think we are done with COVID, COVID may not be done with us. Continue to participate in healthy practices. Wash your hands often. If you are sick, wear a mask. If you are attending a large event, wear a mask. Stay current on your vaccinations. If you can, make sure large gathering areas are well-ventilated. We all know what to do by now, so continue to do that which keeps you as safe and healthy as possible.
And as we continue to rebound from the pandemic, make an effort to reconnect with friends and colleagues if you haven't yet done so. Life has a way of creeping up on us and filling our schedules. Who are people from church or your other connections that you would like to reach out to? Go ahead and give them a call, or write them a note, or drop by their house. Reconnecting with people is worth the effort.
That reconnecting goes for God as well. There's a saying that goes something like, “If you don't make time for the important things, the unimportant things will take up all your time.” As the Body of Christ, worship is one of those important things. Make time to reconnect with God and make worship a priority.
Hopefully you've noticed that our Sunday attendance has been growing over the past few months. This means that we've had some new people come into our doors as well as seeing long-time members begin to return regularly. Don't assume that everyone at Saint John's knows everyone else. Find someone you don't know and introduce yourself. Invite someone into a conversation, whether that's at coffee hour or on another day for lunch. Spend some time getting to know the people of the parish.
Make sure you take some quiet time and relax. Even Jesus found time to get away and recharge.
I've heard many times that we're beginning to return to normal. But “normal” is relative, and most of the time it is anything but normal. So as we continue to rebound from COVID, this is a good time to make a new normal, to make some new habits, and to reconnect with others and God in a way you haven't done before.
May we continue to be bound together by the Holy Spirit in the communion of all the saints.