If necessity is the mother of invention, then maybe uncertainty is the father of creativity. As a congregation we have had to get creative. We have had to get creative with how we worship and how we stay connected. We have had to get creative when it comes to helping our community (thank you Mask Makers!) and support our neighbors in need. We got creative when it comes to worship: maybe we will be able to worship in our building again soon. But what about this fall and winter; what if the virus returns and we must shelter in place again? How do we gather together? In our cars? How do we share communion? In our homes only?
We need to be creative when it comes to our youth. Now that Beckie is no longer with us, and our synod confirmation program is on hold, how do we build faith in our youth and children? What does that look like if we cannot gather together?
Regarding Our Daily Bread: how do we serve our hungry neighbors without endangering their health or the teams? Is the Community Garden still viable if people social distance themselves from other gardeners? None of us had a class on “Coping with Global Pandemics.” But uncertainty and chaos can be the seed bed of new ideas. As we let go of the “old and familiar” we open ourselves to the “new and different.” We take chances and we experiment because the only other choice is simply to do nothing.
Our mission is still in place. How we carry it out is changing. I realize that things were changing long before anyone ever heard of Covid-19. The pandemic, though, has pressed the fast-forward button on reality. Instead of taking months or years to make a decision we, as a church, have only days or at the most weeks to do so. Our Bishop Kristen Kuempel likes to say that we are building the plane as we fly it.
What our scriptures make clear is that God brings order out of chaos and life from death. Creation came as God’s spirit moved over the waters. The flood brought about a new beginning, political chaos (the book of Judges) brought about the monarchy, the Babylonian Exile brought about a new theology and a new way to be Jewish. Look at the stories and the history of the Old and New Testament; read the Psalms. God never shelters in place (resurrection!). God is always at work, creating, redeeming, bringing about something new, changing what was. It can be stressful in the time of transition, but there is always blessing in the process. We are an Easter people in a Good Friday world. Alleluia.
God’s Peace to you,
Pastor Bob Albing