Meeting Remotely, Staying Together
This is a message from our Rector, Fr. Brian Pape.
This has been such an unprecedented and challenging year. We faced an extended period of isolation over the spring and summer months, economic uncertainty, racial unrest, political divisions, frustrations over how to re-open our society, virtual learning for most of our teachers and children, and the list of challenges continues. I am grieving right along with you. I am also holding on to hope with you. Thankfully, we are not alone in the struggle. God has been our anchor in the storm (Isaiah 26:3, 28:16).
But how do you ensure you stay tethered to the Anchor? As we navigate the continued challenges ahead, will you join Jennifer and me in two important "anchoring" practices?
1. Stay tethered to regular worship- Our time in worship together on Sundays, both in-person and via the live stream, has been a huge encouragement to me personally. My perspective on life is restored as we fix our eyes on Jesus Christ together each week in worship. Join us by registering here for our worship services or join us on the live stream, linked on our home page.
2. Stay tethered to one another- Since the church was birthed in Acts 2, there has always been an integral connection between our "life together" at the temple (read "a central gathering place for the larger worshiping community") and our homes throughout the community. Being together in prayer, sharing meals, sharing friendship is all part of the essence of what it means to be the church. This requires work on our part. It won't just happen. We have to sincerely pursue one another, forgive each other, pray for each other, and spend time together in whatever ways possible.
If you are not already in a Mesa group or involved in community at Church of the Resurrection, please reach out to us to let us know how we can get you plugged in by going here. You can also register for our course on the Lord's Prayer.
For those of you already in a mesa group, the format for our official mesa gatherings needs to remain virtual for the foreseeable future. Although I know how much better in-person gatherings are, we believe meeting via zoom is best for now for a variety of reasons. We cannot offer in-person childcare and would therefore leave out many of our mesa participants. Additionally, we have a large percentage of folks who are simply not ready to return to in-person gatherings just yet. This decision will apply to all formal small group gatherings for Church of the Resurrection.
Could some mesa groups or bible studies decide to meet outdoors occasionally to reconnect in person from time to time? (a Friday night BBQ, a Labor Day Weekend event, etc) This would be great for any and all who are able to do so and who follow the appropriate safety protocols. In fact, outdoor venues might be a fantastic way to help folks reconnect as the mesa season kicks off again. However, the regularly scheduled group gathering should remain on zoom for now. If and when you meet outdoors to reconnect, be considerate of those who are not yet ready to do so. Some of our mesa leaders themselves are not ready to be back to in-person gatherings. All should feel honored and supported by whatever decision they make.
I came across a quote from J.R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Rings" recently: “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” I know we are all ready to get past the challenges of this pandemic. We are all praying for a vaccine to be developed and approved for use as soon as possible. We must not give up just because the road has darkened and our path is difficult.
Let's stay tethered to one another, to worshiping together, and ultimately to our Lord Jesus.
I'm blessed to be with you on the journey,