“Want to hear God laugh? Tell Him your plans.” Have you heard that saying before? It feels appropriate in these days and weeks. We’ve got so many plans and events and hopes for the future, yet in the midst of this viral outbreak, we are forced to slow down and put some things on hold. It doesn’t mean we lose sight of our goals, but that we do what we can in the present time.
This means we’re still feeding people. The Senior Meal program is continuing as to-go meals, and about 30 -40 people a day are showing up for a hot meal. Neighbors in need have been able to receive groceries through our Thrivent Action Team (originally designated for our community BBQ), and we’ve prepared snack bags to give out to people who need something to eat right away. I’m in touch with other folks in the neighborhood and most are staying safe at home, helping out as they are able.
We do still have AA meetings happening in the building. They are smaller groups, and keeping safe distance, using masks, and disinfecting surfaces. Some have moved to online meetings, while others are appreciative of a place to meet and care for each other in this difficult time. The Samoan congregation has begun to meet again, though they are under 10 in number. The Rise homeschool group has discontinued classes until the Fall.
We are still trying some new things with online worship, but overall what we are doing on Facebook Live has been well received. There is always more we could do, but I’ve tried to balance what is possible with what is really needed in this time. Our online Bible Study has been a lot of fun. I’m grateful for Pastor Matt’s expertise, and Linda’s participation, and for all of you who have joined us for these discussions! I’m looking forward to getting into Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, as it will be a timely word for this chapter of our story. This weekend, I’m planning on a virtual coffee hour, where we can all check in using Zoom, just to hear from each other and be present. Look for more information on that soon.
I’m excited that we are still moving forward on some parts of our strategic plan. Marissa has helped us to get specific about our goals, and we’ll review this in the coming months. Just before the closures, we were planning to accept new members. When we can gather again, they will be officially welcomed as members of our faith community. I expect we’ll have a baptism before the end of the summer as well.
Our staff is still serving as they are able. Marissa has begin checking in with youth online. Mary is working from home, helping to prepare bulletins, send out mail, compile reports, and helping us to stay on top of things as she helps to care for her in-laws. Linda is here Sunday mornings to play music, and planning for worship. Danny is keeping the building clean and sanitized.
On of the most important things we can do right now is to check in on each other and communicate. I’m asking our council to take an active part in calling through our membership directory and touching base to build relationships and see if any one has a need. I’ll be putting together a list of those I would specifically like to contact, but of course you can start dialing anytime. I know the contact is appreciated. We are still the body of Christ in the world.
We do what we can while we are able. I’m humbled by the grace I’ve received from all of you, who continue to participate in this ministry, care for me and my family, and reach out in prayer and encouragement. We are learning new things together, and as we begin to think about what re-opening looks like, I know we will find this time informative for how we share the gospel and do ministry here at Reformation.