Regional minister calls for creativity in worship, meeting
Sandy Messick - regional minister of the Northern Lights Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) said that the effects are unevenly felt across its wide geographic area. In Western Washington with the largest number of cases reported, pastors and congregations cancelled worship services and meetings earlier out of concern for the safety of all.
In other parts of the region—Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Oregon—the decisions have come, too.
Online devotionals at northernlightsdisciples.org include a national daily devotional, prayers for Lent and a Journey to Easter.
Pastors are thinking of new ways to be church in these difficult times, said Sandy, who is gathering the pastors in weekly Zoom meetings to offer resources and encouragement.
Instead of a regional youth gathering, there will be a virtual gathering of youth.
The first assembly of the new region, planned in May, will be rescheduled in the fall.
"Let us be community to each other and reach out to each other," said Sandy, suggesting that communities not yet affected need to plan to modify worship and other gathering practices.
She called for those who suspend worship for a time, to think creatively about how to stay connected as a congregation.
"For some, Sunday worship is a primary point of social contact. How can we ensure our members are not isolated? What role can the elders and other members play in keeping connected? How can we use technology to provide opportunities for gathering—such as online Bible studies, livestreaming worship? Who will need extra help in getting connected through technology?
Sandy will converse with pastors by email and Zoom, and share denominational resources. She is exploring using Zoom for regional worship, offering technology grants and inviting online donations.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, April, 2020