I’ve got to be honest, as an introvert, there were times when I welcomed the extra time home. But with my husband working in a hospital, and the realization of the seriousness of this disease for those around the world, came fear and sadness.
Blogs, podcasts, news articles, Facebook posts have discussed the collective grief that we are experiencing because of job loss, ceremonies like graduation and prom and dance recitals being cancelled, loneliness, death and so much more. One of the large griefs I see in the Christian community is the ability to safely gather together in-person. As a pastor, I am not immune to this. But as a pastor I do get to see the global church’s response in a way that most lay people probably don’t. I have seen:
- Denominational support staff create worship services for local pastors to use because they recognize the burnout happening for pastors and church staff.
- Pastors and other church staff encouraging one another across the country and the globe through Facebook, zoom and many other resources.
- Businesses offering free and reduced-price curriculum, program, supplies, etc to help churches shift to online worship.
- Churches sharing sermons, supplies, ideas, and more.
- Offer food bags and care packages to members of our community and of our church
- Switch to online worship and drive-in worship
- Begin planning for upcoming new outreach programs (shameless plug – stay tuned, coming soon)
- Write cards of encouragement, deliver groceries for others, make phone calls and more
- Start new small groups over zoom and Bible studies on the YouVersion App
No matter where we are or what it looks like, we are still the church!
We don’t know what church will look like moving forward. What we do know is that we will continue to support and love one another. Encouraging one another, praying for each other and worshiping together (even if it’s in our car or over the Internet!)
This summer, we would love to see where you are worshiping, whether you are watching worship at home or on vacation, if you are in your car at the drive-in or joining a small group. Take your picture wherever you are and tag #ARKishome – for even more fun, take Flat Arkley with you and let our loveable donkey join in your picture! We want to see all the places the people of ARK are this summer to remember that it doesn’t matter where we are, what matters is whose we are – ARK is home, and we are the People of God.
“All of you together are Christ’s body,
and each of you is a part of it.” 1 Cor. 12:27, NLT
Christine is the Lead Pastor at ARK United Methodist Church, a church replant in North Sioux City, SD. She is also a Ministry Coach with MOPS Int’l, wife to Matthew, a foster and bio mom to 6 kids, and an aspiring chicken homesteader leaning on the grace and hope of God amidst life’s messes.