Wednesday Word: Continuing
This past Sunday the Welcoming/PR team put up a post on our Facebook page that said:
Church Online – Not Canceled
Quiet Time with God – Not Canceled
Praying for the Sick – Not Canceled
Checking on a Friend – Not Canceled
Helping Others – Not Canceled
Being the Church – Now More Than Ever
We have entered another phase of increased COVID cases. We have once again limited people in the church building for worship to only those necessary (clergy, musicians, lector, videographer). Mark and I are making alternative plans for both the bishop's visitation next month and the Christmas Eve services should the COVID numbers continue to be high. We are working at being flexible in this unusual time. Although to be honest, I did tell Mark that I was tired of being flexible.
But the Facebook post I referenced above and the worship planning Mark and I do reminded me that I need to remind you – We have not stopped being the Church. Just because we can't gather and worship God in the beauty of holiness does not mean that we are being stopped from being God's people and living into the mission of Saint John's.
We are still able to worship by gathering online. One of the joys I experience from this is seeing people interact with each other in the comments during the service and offering prayers, thanksgivings, updates, and support.
We are finding ways to welcome people. Whether that is reaching out to new people who have attended our worship in person when able, or checking up on people through phone calls and letters, we are still working at maintaining our connections.
We are finding ways to serve. The Service and Outreach commission oversaw a food giveaway, is involved in the distribution of Bester Christmas shoeboxes, and serving lunches at Potomac Towers.
Deacon Sue and I host a bible study and discussion on Tuesday nights and Sunday afternoons respectively. Bob Ayrer hosts a discussion about the early church on Thursday nights. Heidi McCusker and Rebecca Connor provide Sunday school programs following the 9:30 worship service. Joelene Young leads an active and engaged teen program (J2A) for the high school students.
I write all this to let you know that we haven't stopped being the Church. We are still doing things. Is there more we could be doing? Probably. Have we stopped being the Church, or have found ourselves unprepared like the five foolish bridesmaids? No.
So thank you for your participation. Thank you for your flexibility. Thank you for your support. Thank you for continuing to be the Church. Thank you for continuing. And as we move forward through these difficult times, let us always continue to continue.