Pastor’s Corner (5/7/2020)
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. – John 13:34-35 (NRSV)
General Minster and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Rev. Terri Hord Owens, began her recent letter to the Church with the above passage of scripture. She is one of many voices in the conversations congregations are having regarding the next steps for the Church in the age of COVID-19. The newest challenge before us is considering our next steps. Our Region has also offered salient and helpful comments on this subject. Many of us have been keenly listening to remarks from the national, state, and city officials as informed by health care professionals.
With all of this swirling around us, a group has been formed here at FCC to discern the path forward. This group met for the first time last week on Thursday April 30th and our next meeting will be on Wednesday evening May 13th. This group is made up of the Board Chair and Vice-Chair, the head of the Worship Team, the leader of the Torch Team, the Chair of the Building and Property Team, and staff. We have begun sifting through the resources available to us and plotting the next steps for our congregation. There is a lot to consider.
As we move forward it is critical to have the above scripture before us. Undoubtedly, we all have our own ideas and opinions. The challenge will be taking all the resources before us and weighing what is best for everyone. What we have all done over the past couple of months, and continue to do now, has been to protect the most vulnerable in our midst. Physical distancing, sheltering in place, and wearing face coverings when going out have all helped minimize exposure to the virus. Love compels us to continue doing all the above as we strive to create a worship environment that praises God and provides a healthy and safe space for worshipers.
We are all treading a path never trodden and the situation changes daily, sometimes hourly. With all this in mind, it may be some time before we are able to come together confidently and safely. It is important that we remain steadfast and open to God’s leading. While the path ahead may be unclear, we can be sure that we will come together again.
Undoubtedly, we will all be changed by the new reality in which we live. However, there is much that we can take away from this experience that will deepen our life and faith. We have been invited to remember that we are part of a global community in which everyone is loved and cherished by God. We have been forced to ponder, what is it that makes us the church?
May we be guided by the God of love as we move forward and may we be given patience to move at God’s pace, not ours.
In peace and love,