The Weather

It’s been rather strange lately. I shouldn’t be surprised about the deep fluctuations in the weather this year. Maybe we’ve been outside more because the fear of catching the Covid 19 virus while being indoors is strong. I have spent more time with my neighbors than I have in the past.
The church is continuing to function. Worship is changed – online and outdoor worship are taking place more and more. Actually, I’ve found that doing online services reaches more people – if even for a few minutes – than worshiping indoors. I wouldn’t give up worshiping indoors, but it’s a nice opportunity for outreach.
The weather in the church has certainly changed too. Some people like the online services, some don’t. Some people like outdoor services, some don’t. Some people try to experience indoor worship at other churches that offer them in this time. Our needs are different. You ask, “how can we be church if we are so divided?” That is a good question. How do we identify and hold onto that which defines us a “church?” I asked the question over a year ago about what does church look like now a days. Now, it is even more important to look at this and determine what that means. Gathering as we can as a larger community through different means. Does it mean enlarging our concept to include our brothers and sisters in the many different denominations? What role do the other religions play? What about people who live their lives without any kind of religious connections?
What about virtual presence? Some people find great meaning in this type of connection – Facebook, Instagram, group chats, hangouts, etc. Is the “real” connection? Well, yes, it is for some people. Can church survive or even thrive in this media? That’s the question. The whole “embodied” word and all. The physical presence of people, bread, wine, water…The touch of a handshake or a hug. Does is matter? People are different and what speaks to us differs too. We will keep working this through. We may not find the answer, but we’ll work together on this.