Black Lives Matter
Indigenous Lives Matter
Lives of People of Colour Matter
For two Saturdays in January at least twenty-eight congregational leaders from Canada West and Canada East Mission Centres participated in a workshop on the theme: Exploring a Post-Pandemic Church: Discern, Plan and Act in Hope. The workshop was sponsored by Canada West and was facilitated by Joan and Carman Thompson from the Kitchener, Ontario, Community of Christ. For about five hours each day (plus homework assignments in between the days!) we were challenged to consider how the experience of living with COVID might affect our expectations of church after the pandemic.
Here is just one sample question from early in the workshop: What might be the difference between gathering together to follow a worship outline, versus gathering together to engage meaningfully in each other’s lives?
We discussed societal changes that are affecting the growth and ministry of Christian churches. We discussed models of doing things “To” people (typical of oppression and injustice), “For” people (typical of arrogance and band-aid solutions), and “With” people (typical of transformation, meaningful relationships, and, wait for it… “Mission!”). We talked about various experiences of exercises of discernment in our lives and in our congregations to determine what we felt God was calling us to do.
Here are some key phrases and challenges from the workshop that may be useful to you:
Here are a couple of my own questions for you:
As with all good workshops we came away with a few good ideas and lots more challenges.
I enthusiastically urge all congregation leaders and members to consider how we might “do church different” after the pandemic. We have had almost a year of doing church differently and I think we are actually surviving better than we thought we might have. What can you and your congregation learn from your experience and the experiences of others as you explore and build your post-pandemic church? This may be our opportunity to build the Community of Christ that we have always thought we could be!
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