“In the wake of COVID-19 and accompanying crises, we know the church has been changed and we with it, so how do ten pastors define and articulate what it means for us and our congregations? ”
During the pandemic, our congregations were required to close facilities, pivot, and quickly learn how to do everything differently. As we emerge and begin to come back together, this remarkable season seems now to carry an invitation for us to consider how we and our churches have been changed. My own congregation is eager for this reflection. We also know our own learning will be enriched by talking with others. I plan to gather with five other local church pastors in Colorado and four pastors in Massachusetts for reflection and conversation about the experience of ten churches, including my own, as we engage common questions, such as:
• What did we learn about our adaptability and ability to make critical decisions that may have changed our usual way of operating?
• What new forms of ministry did we develop that our congregation feels called to continue?
• What did we learn about ourselves and our reliance on the Spirit’s guidance that has shaped the faith and practice of our congregations and transformed our theological vision?
• What wisdom can our churches glean that will continue to shape our ministries and that we can share with others for the well-being and vitality of the whole church?
• And, finally, how can we encourage others to take the time to reflect on their own experience and learning for the good of their congregation and the whole church?