Rev. Dr. John Huxtable
What a tough question to answer, because there are no real concrete answers. We can discuss how we have learned that church is expandable. Meaning that we now understand more completely that the church is not the building, but rather it is the people. We have learned new avenues that help us to connect and to remain in community even when we cannot be physically present with one another. We have learned that community is essential to life. We are a communion people and although for far too long we have centered ourselves on individualism, this time has taught us the importance of community and connection with creation. Throughout this pandemic we have witnessed wonderful new avenues being used and discovered for bringing forth the good news, and what a joy it has been to be able to experience the wonderful creativity of God’s children proclaiming God’s glorious good news.
This time has taught us the importance of keeping our eyes open and our minds open to new approaches to ministry and worship. We have been forced to adapt and to improvise which will help strengthen the church as we move forward into the future. I feel as though we are taking more time to be present with God in the midst of the chaos of life and that is helping us to become better witnesses bringing forth the love of God into the world. We have also learned that we can learn and grow with one another in a manner that is not hierarchal. We walk together and learn together rather than being told or telling the other. We have learned that we are all learning and that we are all growing in the midst of this time, and that as we open up we must continue to see that we all must continue to learn from one another.
The important lesson that I pray we learn is that we must continue to explore new ministries and methods of worship as we open back up. We must continue to be creative in creating the sacred space that can reach more than we can imagine. We must be willing to continue to look for new ways to bring worship into our communities and to connect with people in diverse ways.