Passing the Digital Peace

Aaron Austin | March 29, 2020

I'm generally not a fan of social media. I don't usually post much on Facebook—it's much too easy to make folks mad, and I don't have the emotional constitution to deal with that. In my experience, social media platforms seem to facilitate talking past each other rather than fostering real conversations. I often feel like everybody has a soapbox and a microphone, and we just shout back and forth. I do, however, love cat videos.

Strangely, over the last couple of weeks, I have found more peace, comfort, and encouragement from online video meetings, YouTube chats, Facebook posts, and emails than I could have ever imagined. Our Deacons meeting filled me with peace as I saw friends who are working hard to support our community of faith. Daily staff check-ins have reminded me that we're in this together. Our Sunday school (now Thursday Skool) class has brought laughter and joy in the midst of sorrow. During our live-stream worship services, your chats and comments are what make our worship service come to life as a real work of the people. Somehow, through the haze of this struggle, hope peaks through, and it's doing that through you.

I have seen more clearly through our distancing how rubbing elbows with all of you has changed me. You've made me a better friend, a better human, and a better follower of Jesus. I hope that our online communities can offer some of the same space to share life together, even if it must be from a distance right now.

I hope you can join us online however you feel comfortable. Just like our real world community is better with your presence and involvement, our virtual community is the same. We're doing our best to protect your privacy and also provide accessible resources to connect with each other. No matter what goes on in other corners of the internet, we want our space to be welcoming, affirming, and safe for everyone.

Your voice is important. Really. I mean it.  I don't know about you, but I often find reasons to put off actually producing work or finishing a project, because I'm afraid that it won't be good enough. But now, it seems more important to contribute the best of what I can muster in this moment whether or not it meets my unrealistic standards. So I invite you to share what you've got. Share a note of gratitude or a prayer request. If you'd like to post a picture or even a video greeting, that would be great too! Show us a project you're working on or a pretty flower blooming in your yard. Maybe you'd like to read a favorite story for our children or an inspiring poem. Maybe you'd like to sing a song or just say hi.

You can join us in our Facebook group where we can offer words of encouragement, prayer requests, resources, and check in with each other. You can also join us on our livestream events for Sunday morning worship at 11 a.m. and now Wednesday Vespers at 7 p.m. Some Sunday school classes are even meeting via Zoom or Skype. New technologies can be hard to get used to, so please contact me at aaron@lexcentral.com

Thank you all for building this loving, progressive, and inclusive family of faith that we all share in.

3 months

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