Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about the considerations involved in returning to indoor, in-person worship. At that point, indoor, in-person worship had been suspended for six weeks, and, given the bishop’s directives, we were facing at least another six weeks and asked to hold any potential return date lightly, and that was a year ago.
Now, as infection rates continue to fall and vaccination rates are rising, we look forward to indoor, in-person worship beginning with Pentecost, Sunday May 23rd. We also look forward to gathering to view the Presiding Bishop and the virtual Pentecost Way of Love Revival Worship Service on Sunday, May 23, at 4 PM followed by a bring-your-own picnic that afternoon. And we look forward to resuming in-person use of the building for fellowship, study and meetings.
We are not going “back to normal.” There is no “back,” there is only forward, forward into a future God is revealing.
While I look forward to gathering in-person, I am also aware that online worship, education, training and social time offerings have allowed so many more people to participate in our community. We are a different community than we were a year ago. We have learned new skills, started new ministries and welcomed new friends.
In this time of transition, some activities will resume in-person, some will continue online and some will adopt a hybrid model (meeting online some of the time and in-person at others). The format is less critical than being intentional about making the decisions.
And that means listening to one another.
I am asking each of the groups to begin having conversations about how they want to move forward into this new time:
- Housekeeping conversations about “where and when,”
- Visioning conversations about what new things may be possible,
- Conversations about what your church’s leadership needs to know about your group’s hopes and concerns (please send those to me or Nancy Hunter, Senior Warden.
I also look forward to intentional listening opportunities for us as a community, across ministry groups. Look for more details in upcoming issues of the Weekly Word.