It has been only one week since Gov. Hogan made the decision to move the entire state of Maryland into the new reality of social distancing. It seems like so much longer! It is a necessary move, but it brings huge changes to the lives of everyone.
I have been in phone calls and Zoom meetings with all kinds of Central folk this week, and we are all struggling with the new reality of trying to work from home, care for elderly relatives and friends, and deal with bored children at home. Say a special prayer for parents dealing with bored children at home! Really!
Well, what is the church doing in the midst of it? In the past seven days we have retooled to live stream a simple version of our worship services. Last week it was just announcements and a pastoral message, and this week we will be adding some music. Be sure to tune in on Sunday morning at 9:30 am.
Communications and encouragements have gone out to small group leaders, WOW is making plans for online presence, a number of small groups have already met through Google Hangouts, Zoom calls, and other ways. Amazing individuals all through the church have begun to call friends, shut-ins, and other people that God has put on their minds, and Linda Ferree is capturing that information so that we have a sense of how we are caring for each other, especially those who may not have a strong online presence. Others have given special gifts so that we can be prepared to help people as time goes on. Others are planning how to support our partners like ACTC. Deacons are retooling for caring, even from a distance.
In order to not clog your inboxes with messages, we will try to funnel most of our all-church communication into 3 touches each week, on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. Tuesday will be on Facebook Live or by email. Friday’s will come through the church’s normal weekly email. Be sure you are subscribed. The information is also posted on the website. Sunday touch will be included in the worship live stream.
But, going back to the question, what is the church doing in the midst of this? I ask that question of you. You are the church. What you are doing for yourself, your family, your friends, and the people around you is the first and most exciting answer to that question. The sphere of care for Central Presbyterian Church includes hundreds of people. The only way to care for this amount of people is for us to care for each other.
We will do what we can to gather information, to encourage, and distribute resources as available. But the majority of effective expressions of Christ’s love will happen right where you are. This is your moment. Step into what God is calling you to!