Fr. Phil: Thinking about the future...
The only way through is through.
I am asking for assistance to develop our worship life in a hybrid environment.
With great technical help, and generous donations, we are becoming more adept at broadcasting our worship over the internet and integrated those at home with those capable of coming to in-person worship at Haytown Road.
We are slowly creeping up the learning curve and all of you have been most patient. Every week, we have an unanticipated technical breakdown and its different and adds to the helplessness of the moment. However, with constancy and devotion, we lumber on.
That said, we are looking to bouncing forward, not merely bouncing back.
Even when the pandemic is over, hybrid worship is here for good. The reality is, there will never be another "snow day." (Sorry kids- school ain't never gonna be canceled again!) There will be Sunday worship even on bad weather days cause there will always be internet broadcasts, even if from my
So who's up for helping? We will begin with a creative conversation on Zoom, of course. A date will be announced to those who respond directly to me.
In the short run, we are also looking for vocalists to join our merry band - we are healthfully separated using mics in different spaces safely for all concerned. It’s is our good fortune to have a modern worship space that allows for safe public worship. AND - remember, as always, no one should feel in any way pressured about coming here live. Please stay home as only you can know best. With folks only singing along softly in their masks, it's nice to have a PA system sharing the lyrics with a few voices, and if we had some harmony there, it would be great. In the future, post-pandemic world, we're still going to want to broadcast hymn singing for those at home, so we are not just filling in temporarily. This is a long term adaptation. And it will grow the mission of this church.
Pardon for the bluntness here, but I know the world sucks right now and for a bunch of reasons and all at once. Some days I just want to pull the covers up and hide for four months. But even so, we must rally, as we are able. I have no idea what a "choir" looks like in the future. One will have to be rebuilt here. Among other things. Our worship will need to emphasize the power and resilience of what a common life in Christ can build in the midst of chaos and calamity.
Resolve. Mindfulness. Courage. Tenacity. How are these exhibited in our gatherings, our common prayers and ritual actions? The unity of being one body in Christ is threatened. The integrity of the witness of Jesus in the Gospels is put to the test and some are understandably confused by disparate messengers. The Church has been here before. We stand in the long train of the faithful, living through Nero, Caligula, and Diocletian, any number of plagues, the Dark Ages, and more. We are reminded of their faithfulness and steadfast hope.
So for those who want a stake in the shape of this worshiping life, give me a shout. As goes worship, so too outreach, and stewardship, and formation, and all of it. All of it (us) will be bouncing forward. We might not know what reshaping our ministries will look like except that they will all look more like Christ.
The only way through is through.
We recently received a letter from the Open Cupboard Food Pantry, thanking us for donating nearly 700 pounds of food in 2020. This was a great achievement, because COVID made everything so very difficult!! To continue our generosity, please consider donating canned soup, pasta, or vegetables for the next two months. Also, if you are fortunate to receive a free ham or frozen lasagna from a grocery store, the Food Pantry will gladly accept the donation (they have freezers and fridges). Personal toiletries, diapers, and even gift cards are most welcome. Katie and I will be glad to deliver your donations. We gave them 130 pounds of food recently, and they were so delighted, because donations continue to be fewer than usual. Thank you so very much for your kind support.
Suzanne and Katie Higgins
You can bring groceries to CHS or to the Open Cupboard in Clinton. [If it’s more convenient, send a check or ShopRite gift card to the Open Cupboard Food Pantry, 37 Old Highway 22, PO Box 5071, Clinton 08809.]
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