I try to be a problem solver. I like wrestling with an unknown and trying to find a satisfactory answer. Questions and the struggles that birth them are not adversaries. They challenge us to be our best. But sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes our best reasoning falls short of what is required. Therefore, I ultimately lean on the gifts afforded to those who still value religion. Mercy and faith stand in the gaps of the failures that life brings. They have led me through past difficulties. And by God's grace, benefited by our past traditions and within our own personal experiences, our faith will again get us through whatever the dilemmas and hardships we will be facing.
In the meantime, I'm looking for silver linings. Things I can hang onto during these challenging days of uncertainty and legitimate concerns. Where are the opportunities in the crisis, what imaginative strokes can we make to turn our negatives into positives? I've found a few and I need you to help me.
I like the communal calling to come together. If you've not seen the work of the Bluegrass Community Foundation, I invite you to check them out. They are helping us gather our resources to locally help those currently impacted by our national health emergency. I was also deeply touched by watching a Facebook video posted by my son's boss, Ouita Michel. She is a model of how to respond to human needs with compassion and strength. Her heartfelt talk was truly sermonic and a well of living water to my soul (you can watch it through a link on my page). We are currently involved in some of the same kind of strategy sessions for the staff of the church and the childcare.
Yes, we are moving into a time of forced and sensable shutdowns. Our excellent staff is busy working, even while not in the office. You will be noticing more blog postings from them as a means of staying connected. Other staff members are coming in to focus on tasks and cleaning within our building. We will also be rolling out new suggestions on how to gather online and improve our overall communication. It will be a challenge, but one that can make us stronger. I hope you will use some of your time searching our website more thoroughly, checking out and subscribing to our YouTube station (subscribing requires a Gmail account), and then sending us emails of how things are going in your home. We want to maintain the interrelated and strong relational bonds of our community.
In that regard, I'm sending out a plea. Tell me what is working for you. What resources for families with children are you finding to help keep them engaged? How are you dealing with your youth, now that they are hanging out more at home? Are you able to start some new family traditions? What does your daily schedule look like? Are you taking a nap? What shows or series are you watching or books are you reading? What devotional practices are you enjoying or discovering? I would like to start a community list of our congregation's best practices. I know what you are experiencing will be helpful to someone else. I'll let you know how we will do this later, but start thinking and collecting your ideas.
There are dark clouds and shadows coming. It will take extra effort to look for the silver linings. But I'm certain, God will reveal them. And when we are working and looking together, we will see them and marvel at their splendor.
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