Dec. 6, 2021
Beloved in Christ:
The Holiday season began with Thanksgiving gratitude.
We are here, living these God-given lives.
God is with us in the messiness of our times.
Ingenuity from God’s creative energy is serving churches well as we adapt.
Stick-to-itiveness flowing from faith is evident in our leaders and congregations.
We look forward to the NEAC’s 2021 After Christmas recorded worship for seasonal use.
It is another strange season! Do you feel the absurdity of seeing COVID numbers rise while vaccinations also rise? It’s a natural response to ask, “Is this working?” even when we know that vaccinations, masks, and clean air exchange do indeed work. These are tools in the battle to overcome the virus’ spread.
We experience the paradox of being inundated with information daily, yet still not finding everything we want and need to know. We feel a pile-on of stresses. We may experience what social scientists now call, “languishing,” a loss of motivation and energy to deal with long-term challenges.
Then we remember the mess that Jesus was born into; the raw reality of the nativity, the ominous first-century political environment, a young family fleeing from violence into the land of their ancestors’ captivity. In the face of adversity, as those who follow the God revealed in Jesus Christ, we are called to the hopeful kind of response modeled by Mary and Joseph.
We remember the future our Creator promises:
“See, the home of God is among mortals. God will dwell with them; they will be [God’s] people,
and God will be with them; [God] will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.” — Revelation 21.3b-4
We’re not powerless as God shepherds us through this mess. There are things we can do such as:
- Stay calm as new SARS COVID 19 variants are identified.
- Listen to science as researchers learn.
- Identify specific things you can do at different points on the continuum of cases rising and falling and share your ideas.
- For example, in worship you can clap, stomp, snap, or hand drum when conditions prevent singing.
- In fellowship, can bring encouragement and joy. Perhaps choose a school or medical facility each week to support their staff. Practice prayer that offers anxieties to God and receives God’s empowering Spirit.
- Collect and tell stories of resilience. Be a witness to God’s work.
- Take time to grieve well the losses you’ve experienced.
- Send support and encouragement to hospital workers.
- Allow gratitude for small things to find a place in your day.
We would love to hear and share what you’ve learned you can do in your setting to adapt worship and events to reduce COVID risks. You can send your stories and photos to email@example.com
The questions we are hearing most currently are about singing. Click this link to find information and recommendations.
Have a Blessed Advent, New England Conference Re-Entry Team
Karen L. Munson, Jill Colley Robinson, Taesung Kang, Rick McKinley, and Beth DiCocco
Have a question for the team?
Submit questions and comments here