I wonder about this often?
I have been a life long member of the Christian Reformed Church.
There are many things about my Church that I hold dear and close to my heart. I feel hesitant to claim some things about my Church and even struggle with when is the right time to speak up.
There are so many individuals from my Churches over the years who have shaped me, and I am grateful. For as long as I can remember, Church has been “done” the same way, for the most part. We did go from two services on a Sunday to one service. We have relaxed in what you are “expected” to wear. Coffee seems to have made its way into the sanctuary for some on Sunday mornings. There seems to be less expectation that the Church’s children will go to Sunday School. I am pretty sure the teenagers are not memorizing the catechism anymore. I miss the celebrations of Professions of Faith. I believe we have to talk more about living our faith as believers with adults and kids alike.
I was privileged to serve as a Director of Children’s Ministry at a large Christian Reformed Church. I loved so much about my time at Sunshine. I was young and learning, but I am so grateful for what I learned about Worship and community and faith-building in those years. So many of those lessons are still deeply embedded in my heart today.
Then COVID came and changed how we “did” Church. I love the shirt I saw that said The Church has left the building. We have had to consider who we are as a community of believers when we are not gathering on Sunday mornings.
It seems that there is some hope that our Church will gather again in 2021. We have not been together in the building for almost a year. I am sure some people think that is awful. Still, as Church leadership, we agreed to follow our State leadership’s recommendations and only reconvene when permitted to do so. For us, that has been the right thing to do.
And so now I wonder what is it that we should take away from our interruption of service. Should we resume as we were, or are we being called to something different? What might change if we were to consider this interruption as a gift to change things up? How would we restructure Worship and Gathering if we embrace the freedom that has come from “letting go” of our weekly rituals?
I would like to hear from people near and far about how you envision the Church responding to this interruption of service. What do you think God may be calling us to do or be when we are a reconvened people? Somehow it doesn’t sit right with me that we would reconvene and carry on just as we did. So much has shaped us and changed us. It is my prayer that we live and converse honestly with one another about how that affects our local Churches as well.
Blessed Be His Name,