Community of Christ Enduring Principles Spotlight
All Are Called
Here we are, my friends: we are officially one year into our “COVID world.” It was one year ago this week that the world truly did begin to change significantly. One year ago this week, with the announcement of various types of shut-downs in response to the pandemic, we began to feel impacts as individuals, as communities, and as the church.
Many people suddenly found themselves working from home. Many others found themselves with jobs that suddenly were ended.
We were encouraged to “just stay home.” Most of us did. Streets were quiet. Even main highways were comparatively quiet. Businesses lost customers and had to close at least temporarily. For some as yet unknown reason, panicked shoppers hoarded toilet paper!
One year ago this past Sunday, most of us enjoyed our normal Sunday routine of an in-person worship service with no restrictions. Then one year ago this week our international church leadership issued the direction to congregations around the world to close for the next Sunday and to await further instructions before re-opening again. Suddenly we found ourselves in an unanticipated world of online services which quickly grew to include online classes, youth camps, retreats of all kinds, family camps, and even mission conferences. An initial expectation of short-term closures for a few weeks or maybe a couple of months, extended into several months. Here we are a year later and many/most congregations have yet to re-start in-person meetings and nearly everyone has become accustomed to our online meeting environments. Everyone is eagerly anticipating being able to meet again in-person, share handshakes and hugs, enjoy sitting together, and break bread together in pot-luck lunches as well at restaurants.
Some of us were affected directly by the virus, falling ill with symptoms that varied person-to-person from minor and short-lived to serious and long-lasting. A few of us died. If we were not directly affected by the virus in these ways, most of know someone who was. And those impacts continue though hopefully with decreasing frequency now.
In well under a year the medical and scientific community has produced and tested and begun distribution of vaccines to protect against the virus. Hope and optimism is growing.
Throughout this past year most congregations have done their best to reach out to members and friends in attempting to maintain a sense of connection to one another. Besides the online gatherings of many kinds there have been telephone visiting campaigns. In good weather there were outdoor, physically distanced, informal gatherings such as ice cream socials and just general visiting. Other creative ways of bringing people together – if only in spirit rather than in person – were implemented and were greatly appreciated.
Thank you to everyone who has come through this past year. Thank you to everyone who provided new kinds of leadership and programming this past year. Thank you to everyone who did their best to maintain some sense of connection among the members and friends of your congregation. May we all look forward to a return to some semblance of “normal” in the next few months, even if it does not look exactly like the “normal” we left behind one year ago. God’s spirit was leading us then. God’s spirit is leading us now. And God’s spirit will continue to lead us in the future. May we always be aware of God’s leadership in our lives and look to God’s love and comfort in all situations.
As always, I pray for you God’s blessings of joy, hope, love, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537