I’m afraid. Fellowshipping on ZOOM or Facebook live just doesn’t hack it. I want to see people; talk with people; eat with people; have a cup of coffee with people. Not having things like the Easter brunch, coffee hour, a deacon’s luncheon, the church picnic, and sidewalk fellowship have weighed heavy on my spirit. I’m afraid that we’ve lost the importance of fellowship with one another – when will we be back together? But wisdom and understanding tell me to do the best we can in the present, and work toward the resumption of the FELLOWSHIP OF BELIEVERS.
I’m afraid. Worshipping from home has become very comfortable. Sit on the couch – eat and drink, and not just communion – sing if you want, but not in the church – coming in person isn’t very uplifting with the social distance, masks, cold or hot outdoor weather, no passing of the peace. Virtual choirs are great – but still not the same. I’m afraid that it will be a long time till worship returns to normal – whatever normal means. But wisdom and understanding tell me to do the best we can in the present, and work toward the resumption of the FAMILY OF GOD WORSHIPPING TOGETHER.
I’m afraid. Finances and Stewardship are all over the place. Giving is down – but so is spending. How in the heck do you plan a budget based on 2020? How will giving affect our ministry – our mission – our proclaiming of the Gospel? How do people look at giving to the church in these times? It’s scary. I’m afraid that we might be struggling from a financial end after all this. But wisdom and understanding tell me to do the best we can in the present, and work toward the resumption of the fact that GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER.
I’m afraid. How do we reach out to our community? How do we keep a focus on mission? How do we take care of our members? What about visitors? How does the proclamation of the Good News of the Gospel spread in these days? We can’t be welcoming with no visitors – We can’t visit members because of restrictions – Connecting with folks isn’t easy – Watching other mission causes, near and far, struggle and fail tears at our hearts – Outreach, Evangelism, and Mission are hurting. I’m afraid that important causes will disappear. But wisdom and understanding tell me to do the best we can in the present, and work toward the resumption of the fact that WE ARE THE HANDS AND VOICE OF GOD TO ALL WHO ARE HURTING.
I’m afraid. Our children – youth – and adults aren’t getting together in Sunday School, THWOG, Bible Studies, Youth Groups. We cancelled Vacation Bible School and the Youth Mission Trip. Meetings have gone by the wayside, and Jesus’ disciples are weary, and even worse, not growing in the faith. No nursery – no Red Apple. When can we resume, and how can we resume? I’m afraid that we aren’t growing as disciples – no matter what our age! But wisdom and understanding tell me to do the best we can in the present, and work toward the resumption of the fact that WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD!
But wait – the wisdom of the Lord has brought us some amazing things too: Powerful Music in new ways; a new group whose ministry is technology and virtual worship; hundreds of people – near and far – hearing worship, studies, kid’s stuff online; online giving to ministry and mission; reaching out to new people in need; adjusting to new ways of protecting each other and helping each other; sending special gifts to Students Helping Honduras, SERVE and other mission causes; increases in Acts of Love to our members. You see – the fear has in many ways become wisdom.
I’m afraid. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing at this time. After all, it is the beginning of wisdom, if we look at the Lord rather than ME. In Jesus’ Love – Pastor