Saturday, June 13, 2020

LIttle Churches and Regathering

I enjoy having a plan.  There's a concreteness to it, especially if that plan is simple, straightforward, and familiar. 

You do a familiar thing, and it's comfortable and things run smoothly.  But life rarely offers up neat, easy, and familiar paths.

As we roll into summer, things are still up in the air.  There are hopeful signs here and there that we may be able to reopen.  After months of social distancing, closures, and mask wearing, all of our national efforts seems to have stalled out that virus. 

But we're not sure, not enough, not yet.  As the Session of my church met this last month to talk about potentially regathering, no-one felt it was time to go back to that normal that we all do miss.  Our sweet little sanctuary is too small, that comfy soft space too limiting to do the singing and greeting and being together that we so love.  And sure, we could gather without raising our voices in song or in prayer, with no bulletins and no communion, no time in fellowship, and no classes in which to study together.

That just wouldn't be worth doing.  I mean, sure, we'd "be together."  "Hey, come to church!  We don't sing.  We stay away from each other.  We don't pray out loud.  We can't see one another's faces."

I wish I could say that sounded appealing, but Lord have mercy, it does not.

Instead, we're waiting to see whether there's a second wave, which we should know definitively in two weeks.  At that point, we'll put our heads together and determine, based on the best available information, what is the best way forward.

In choosing any path, it's best to be neither panicky nor headstrong.  Anxiously fretting over every possible negative outcome and stubbornly blundering ahead no matter what are equally unwise.  And while wisdom these days may seem in short supply, it's right there in scripture for any who seek it. 

For the next five weeks, our adult ed class will be looking at the marks of wisdom for a Christian soul, because it seems kinda like a useful thing to keep in front of our souls in this time.  We'll get those from the Epistle of James, one of the most practical, direct moral teachings in the Bible.

Lord willing, we'll be in a place to gather again when we're done.  I am very much looking forward to that.