Return, Restore, Relieve, Resurrect
Since March of 2020 our church has never closed, so we needn’t re-open, but we’ve studied how and when to return. The answer is still imperfect, but with the great good news about Covid vaccinations arriving now, it’s possible to imagine that our full return may be between May and July or so.
In the meantime we’ve had little returns—from the wonderful organ concerts during Advent to the outdoor offering on Christmas Eve. We’re planning more of these. Let us know: We build them around your requests.
Meanwhile, and now at Epiphany—a season of revelation, vision and new roads—it is time to talk about how to restore and rebuild our ministry, not only next summer but beyond. What will worship, Christian Education, mission, and gatherings be like as we come back and return to our beloved community?
That’s my sermon topic January 10 and our lay-leadership conversation across January and February. Where does God call us now? For Christian faith asks about more than restoration and relief for our future. It offers resurrection. And that’s different. It’s not resuscitation and it’s beyond even great relief. It is new life out of something otherwise expired. It’s hard to believe and it’s the core of our faith. What resurrection does God offer to NHCC? What do our members hope and value and long for in answer to God’s call?
We know some basics: Even when we come back to the building we’ll still be online for lots of activities, to include those who are afar or can’t travel. We’ll modify our missions focus for the revelations of this season, such as the racism that even churches allow, and the call to healing that means more attention to an unjust health care system.
But what else? What do you hear? And moreover, how can you help—this is not ministry for someone else, but for each of us. Every few years NHCC has conversations like these. 2020 and 2021 weren’t years we thought we would, but then the world changed, what we see and hear changed, and our God always calls us to change—the heart of resurrection.
This note is just the beginning. It’s an invitation for your insight and conversation. So there is plenty more to come. Because of these two gifts from our faith: Martin Luther King Jr said that “our God is the God who makes a way out of no way.” And, our God always ends with Good News.
See you in church,