Listening the voices of those people who make up our faith community. Take a moment to hear their stories.
Poem by participant Carma Coon
My Morning Prayer
Longing for human touch
Phone calls, zoom, Skype, Facetime
It is impossible to connect to any media today without being bombarded by questions. It is just what happens when the world is turned upside down for this long.
“When can we expect the crisis to be over?” “When can return to work?” Can we return to work?” “How long will it take the economy to recover?” “Will this pandemic boomerang in some mutated form?” “How did we not see this coming?”
You know her. She’s been a member at your church since our family had arrived in town 55 years ago. She and my dad raised all of us there. Since then, two more generations are a part of the mix. She’s sung in the choir, been on Council, ran a food bank there forever, always attended the early service, has enjoyed Bible studies and WELCA over the years. So much. We’ve had all of our family’s baptisms, marriages, funerals there. She 91…even had her 90th birthday celebration there at church almost two years ago.
Maybe the best response to the current reality is, "Lord have mercy".
This video was created to express that lament and that hope.
Here in New York City, we are beginning the 6th week of working remotely and providing live-streamed and online worship and small group opportunities for our congregation at Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. I imagine it’s the same for many of you.
Everything has shifted…and people are looking for leadership in the midst of this crisis. It’s fair to say none of us has ever experienced anything like this before. I was in New York on September 11, 2001, serving as pastor of a congregation in Manhattan.
“Stress is not the enemy in our lives. Paradoxically, it is the key to growth.”
In his book, “The Power of Story,” Jim Loehr suggests that most of us live out of the story that is most central to us, and that curiously that story is oftentimes false. “Oh, you bet, my health and my family are most important to me,” all the while ignoring a current reality of high blood pressure, poor diet, too many hours working and little positive energies for spouse and children. Let’s just say there are far too frequently unexamined gaps or inconsistencies that exist.
Most of us have not been trained or educated to know how to lead during such incredibly difficult times. So, what do you do? I sat down with four pastors from around the country and asked them to share their experiences. This is a video sharing their thoughts. Enjoy!
“Are ever going to be able to leave behind this social-distancing way of life?” my neighbor wondered. As we stood chatting on the sidewalk, six-feet apart while our dogs romped and wrestled, we both marveled at the way this would change us as a society.
We won’t really know how until new vaccines or treatments make lock-downs and quarantines things of the past. However, what we do know is that “returning to normal” will not mean returning to the way things were pre-C19.
The tagline for Kairos and Associates is, “Inspiring Generosity.” It’s focused on the one who is generous instead of the one who is asking for money. Our underlying credo is that organizations don’t have needs. Those being served by our organizations have needs that are being met through our organizational missions. Our main focus is on the one giving and not the one asking.
Of all the seasons for our people to be sheltering in place, why the pinnacle of the church year? If summiting this festival wasn’t challenging enough for pastors now we must find ways to proclaim an empty tomb to empty pews! But before we resign ourselves to merely “salvaging Easter” this year, I wonder… could the unique circumstances of our cultural crisis actually allow for one of the most memorable and authentic celebrations of “He is Risen!” ever?