FIVE MONTH UPDATE In the beginning, adapting ministry to the demands of Covid-19 was a scramble. We had to change the way we were doing a lot of stuff, or most stuff, or everything! It seems like it should have been easy enough to simply keep doing the Livestream worship the way we had been doing all along. But it took a lot of adjusting and no small amount of expansion to put together what we found to be necessary by way of continuing our ministry without interruption. That included enhancing the Livestream of Sunday morning worship and adding a YouTube channel; beginning a daily Livestream from the sanctuary; beginning a weekly Zoom Bible Study; conducting the Summer Fun by Zoom; extending pastoral care by phone calls and texts. That provided a focus and tasks enough for the first several weeks.
The next couple of months the focus became living into what had been constructed. Taking it for a spin to get a feel for it. Honestly, at that point, I found myself driving down Noland Road wondering if I was going to the church or the studio. With Livestreaming six days a week, Zoom classes and meetings, I was trying to make it on camera when I knew I had a face for radio. It took some getting used to.
Now, five months in, it is becoming evident what we have been able to do through the adaptive changes that have been implemented. When we look at what we have been doing, it is clear this is no studio. This is a church! A virtual but vital church. We have been true to our mission: developing faith through Zoom classes; expressing faith through Livestreaming worship in which people are engaging in creative ways. In these days of Covid-19, we are providing vital spiritual support and connection through messages of hope and comfort, not only in the Sunday worship services but the daily Window’s Livestream. This support has a reach beyond our own membership and far beyond the potential of our in-person gatherings. We have established contact and extended care to some who would otherwise be struggling to find needed much needed spiritual support without the extended reach of our ministry. We are a church; a virtual and vital church; and what we are doing here is ministry!
Where do we go from here and how do we get there? Well, we have built—and continue to fine tune—a vehicle by which to do ministry; we have begun to see “what she’ll do” when we put her on the open road. So, all that’s left is determining where we want to go now. As we plan our travels and decide all the places we shall go, let it be done with our mission always in focus: Developing our Faith, Expressing our Faith and offering good, effectual Faith Support. This is our mission. We have made adaptive changes—and are ready to make more if and when necessary—to stay on that road. Our journey continues with the beginning of Sunday School, Confirmation Class and all else that goes with vital congregational life. Despite the uncertainties of the Pandemic, the road before us looks bright and filled with adventure and joy. So, get in, buckle up and hang on! We have places to go!