And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
I had an interesting Zoom meeting this morning with about 20 clergy and lay leaders from around our New Hampshire conference. It was billed as a “check-in,” and it gave us an opportunity to talk about how our churches are responding to the current crisis. To a person, we are all wrestling with dramatically increased use of the internet, working to gather our people together through online worship and meetings, and struggling with how to provide pastoral services when we can’t meet face-to-face.
The meeting was a striking illustration of how caring and connection are the foundations upon which our congregations are built. The heart of our church is not to be found in correct doctrine or theology, denominational loyalty, or liturgical purity. We, all of us, are people who care about people. It’s in our DNA. It is a large part of what defines our identity.
As you know, before all this started, we were just about to have a workshop on Finding our Why. When we were forced to put that gathering on hold until the fall, at first, I was concerned that we would be losing all of the momentum we had built in our CL21 process. (Church Leadership for the 21st Century that is.) Now, I’m realizing that this experience we’re all having, as painful and disorienting as it is, is also going to be very clarifying. It’s the kind of event that forces us all to take stock of our priorities. What’s important and what isn’t, both personally and in our church life together.
What has quickly emerged out of the chaos, is a deep commitment to caring; for one another and for people around the globe who have suddenly been revealed to us as our brothers and sisters in a common humanity. Whatever the church may look like when we come out the other end of this long and dark tunnel, it will continue to be a group of people who care about people.
Yours in Grace,