Dear friends and members of Resurrection,
I believe this is the time for our individual and collective hope and imagination! We have been living through the waiting time: the time for staying safely at home and being physically distanced. Something new is coming: what exactly it will be, is yet to be determined.
What seems clear, is that it will not be a return to the old ways. We will need to patiently and creatively live into our new future. This will call on each of us to try new things, to be open to changing long held practices and dream new possibilities.
I invite each of you to deliberately write down what you have learned during these weeks of intentional separation. What have you observed that has encouraged you? What have you most missed? What do you hope will last when we are able to gather together again?
How have you experienced God's presence? What has strengthened your faith? What goodness have you experienced in your life?
When we are able to gather back together, I hope to hold “listening circles” where we share our experiences and insights with one another. We do not want to lose what we have learned during this extraordinary time.
This is a time that has reminded us that we are one world of fragile, vulnerable human beings. But also that we are beings created in the image of God with great possibility for courage and self-sacrifice. Differences that used to seem so significant have been like smoke. The nationality or race or religion of a person does not matter. The age, health or income of a person does not matter. Each person is vulnerable to the ravages of this virus and each person is capable of contributing to the common good or ill of us all.
Begin to imagine what you think our life together will look like in the months ahead. How do you see us gathering for worship and other communal events? What will school look like for our children? What will social gatherings for holidays and other celebrations be like?
What values are most important to us as a community that is committed to following Jesus? Will the well-being of the most vulnerable be clear in the decisions we make?
This feels like a birth to me. Like something new is about to be born after the waiting and labor pains. And there will be no going back. We will have this new life among us that will be an incredible blessing and wonder—though sometimes tiring and disruptive. But it will be God's “yes” to the continuance of life and love.
As with a birth, ready or not-here it comes! As with a new life, we will learn how to receive and nurture it along the way. Family of God, may we be open to this new life, and be willing and creative co-creators of it with God.
With hope and longing,
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The Rev. Dr. Mary Ubuntu is the spiritual leader of Resurrection Lutheran Church and has served in that capacity since 2003. More on Pastor Mary can be found HERE.