"Our Answer is God. God's answer is us. Through partnership we make our world better." - Dorian Scott Cole
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The Watering Hole - Conversations on 21st. Century religion.

Opportunities in this crisis


Covid-19 is a major disruption to everything in our society. It's an opportunity to consider what is really important in our lives and to refocus. It's an opportunity for the church to evolve by necessity into new ways of doing things that might be better. Some thoughts on the "What Will Happen to Our Churches? National Faith Leaders Reflect on a Global Pandemic" video conference.

Opportunities in Covid-19

Hurry sickness is a way of life for us all. We have little time to think about what is important because we're so busy doing all of the things that are placed before us or demanded of us. Not that those things aren't important, but are there other things that should have higher priority? That we shouldn't leave out. Should we look for a slower pace or time to ourselves? How is our relationship with God through following Jesus faring? Should we be paying more attention to our families, our neighbor?

Social isolation presents an experience that we can use for many things. We can appreciate the loneliness and loss of connection, even lack of purpose that is often felt by those who are elderly, in long term care, or are isolated for other reasons, such as in prison, homeless, friendless, not feeling accepted, loss of employment, or living in isolated areas. We can help people feel connected and accepted. This would help both now and in the future.

Social isolation provides us the experience to reflect on our lives and what is important to us and to others. Jesus often pulled away from the group to commune alone with God. Our worth and value don't come from super-activity. For many isolation brings sadness from not seeing others and the smallness of our temporary conditions.

Social isolation provides us the opportunity to discover new ways of being connected, especially in this digital age. People can connect through cellphones, video chats on Facebook, Zoom, Skype, 3D Simcities, online games, and other services. Religious services have entered the virtual world and offer new ways to unite the old with the new.

Social isolation is an opportunity to be creative. Most people (not all) are creative and enjoy the creative experience, or even find it necessary to their lives. Necessity is the mother of invention. Often when dwelling on something, or contemplating, new ideas come to light.

In the end, this social isolation may draw us closer to each other and our communities.

This crisis also reveals the inequities in our world where people who work very hard for a living are also the first to be subjected to joblessness and low income.

The effect on church buildings and opportunities

Regarding church, we have long been at a crisis point in church stability. Attendance overall declines at around 1% a year. Young adults are abandoning church at a very rapid rate. This is an opportunity to rethink church, form new ways of doing things, make stronger connections, create new outreaches, and then put those things in place.

There is great concern over what this will mean to our buildings and missions. Giving typically falls during weak attendance, and if unemployment strikes an area, which may reach as much as 25 to 30 percent if things get bad and will take a long time to recover, giving will fall even more. We may see an acceleration of church buildings closing in some areas.

"Business as usual" is often noted in churches as "managing our own demise." Aspects of church may need to be reassessed.

Giving can be enhanced by enabling people to give through online services like direct deposit or things like Paypal payments.

Noteworthy is church having services online to help keep our lives as normal as possible. Facebook is one place to do this. People can say hello to each other, have conversations, and make plans, and watch the service through a YouTube link. Services on YouTube can be watched by many individuals simultaneously when that is set.

The effect on community needs

Communities will likely be heavily impacted. Schools are closed. Many work in areas where infection is more at risk, so they are home or perhaps without jobs. Declining economics may put a lot of people out of work. This creates a giant need, which some are already addressing. Some are ministering to young adults through activity packs, food delivery, etc.

We can call others regularly in our church community and outside, to just be social and have human contact. It lifts spirits and helps a great deal.

We could rotate devotionals online by different individuals. Or tell stories of faith.

Advocacy for various concerns could become a focus of individuals.

I will add this suggestion. If unemployment picks up, churches could offer on a rotating basis, supplying a hot meal for the needy, through their kitchens on a drive through basis. One church each day of the week.

God is with us through our isolation and needs.

- Dorian

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- Dorian

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