One of the things that has been a topic of conversation in lots of homes and media outlets is “When will things re-open?” As much as we all would like to go back to life as we knew it before the outbreak of this pandemic, it’s not really going to be possible for the time being.
We all miss being together. We wish to come together to see one another in person, to receive the sacraments, to offer a hug to those who have lost loved ones and friends, to share in singing and prayer, to celebrate weddings, graduations, anniversaries, funerals and other life events. But we just can’t do those things right now. One of the best ways to show love is first do no harm. We will need to err on the side of safety, particularly for those who are most vulnerable.
So we will rely on the technology and means that we have to stay connected while still staying physically apart. I think that we will be providing online worship, virtual meetings, and Bible studies and other kinds of remote ministry from now on.
I’ve been spending much of the last several days reading and meeting with other colleagues about what might be possible. As time goes on there will be ways that we may begin to offer services and other events. We won’t be able to open the doors and return immediately to what we used to do. We will be re-opening in phases and make adjustments along the way based on the best practices and science available.
Many of the things we’ve typically done on a Sunday morning can actually spread the transmission of the virus. It is highly possible for people to unknowingly share the virus with others through public signing, using a hymnal or bulletin, the passing an offering plates, and conversation at coffee/fellowship time. We will be putting a group together to consider what we need to put in place to ensure the safety of everyone who uses the building, both as the congregation and the Calvary Weekday School. We are still the body of Christ and we are still doing the work of ministry, growing in our walk with Christ, offering care to those in need, lifting up hope, making disciples for the transformation of the world.
The church is not a building but a people. We can be a witness and a sign of God’s grace wherever we are. God is still with us, we are not alone.
Grace and peace,