I hate 15 hours rides in a car. I don’t care how many potty breaks you get. That is not because of my age. I have always hated long rides. I would much rather break up the trip into two days and have a nice meal, good bed, and shower in between days. When it comes to long distance, my idea of a marathon run is coffee breaks at every five miles. I happen to believe that we are in a marathon run when it comes to the coronavirus. Now, if it ends quickly, I will be the first one you see sitting at PHO 24 having me a big bowl of Pho soup and some hot tea. But until that happens I think we are in this for a good while. The way that we approach this could be important to our mental health. I for one and maybe you too thought in March that this virus would have left us humans by the end of summer and we would be back to our everyday ways.
Well, that has not happened. Now, everyone, particularly schools and sports, are scrambling to figure out how to function with the virus. Our congregation is no different. Since the bug didn’t go away, we have also been revamping our ways of operations. At the time of this writing, plans and procedures are being developed to be implemented by the middle of September. Plan B and C is also being considered in the event that life changes again.
The initial plans put in place in March have been working. Participation and support of members have not changed. Our online, in-house, and parking lot services have had more participants than we would have had in a typical summer. The anecdotal evidence supports my theory. People tell me that they worship more now than they normally did. Shuts-ins who have not attended in years watch us weekly. I am bold enough to say that our covid-19 task force and church council using the advice of the synod and CDC has worked.
The next step is Fall planning. As we speak, conversations among staff and leadership are working their way to conclusions which we plan to implement after Labor Day. No, it will not be like any Fall season before, but until the bug has departed it should suffice. I say suffice because I never want to suggest this new way of operating should ever be seen as permanent. By the same token, I do believe some changes that have been good and will be part of our future. But we are not there yet.
No, we are not there yet. It is going to be a longer ride that expected. This is the time when my GPS says, “Recalculate”. But the difference from the moment that I first come to realize that we would not go back to our regular ways and now, is from talking to God, our members and leadership. As soon as I started having conversations with staff and leadership I woke up to the fact that they agreed and fully understood that this would take longer. Then we were able is get on with the planning of tomorrow.
This road trip is going to take some time. But it is not above our capacity to figure out. I, along with a large portion of you, affirm the decisions of the leadership and welcome any ideas that allow us to gather together in worship or casually using precautions against this varmint.
So, let us recalculate how we will be for whatever time it takes. But let us also have a vision of that great day when we will gather around the communion table and coffee table again. It is not too different when someone dies and we envision the great day when we will gather together with Christ and the rest of creation. It’s coming we just aren’t there yet.
Until then, does anyone need to take a break and pee?
In HIs Service