I read an interesting article near the end of September. It detailed a person who was following worship communities during COVID. The article noted that, like the rest of the population, people were getting COVID fatigue. However, it found that worship communities were largely doing one of two things. Either the community was trying to do things as normal and was found grieving for all the loses or the community was adaptive. Not surprisingly, those communities trying to do things as normal were finding less engagement with members and less giving. The other communities were trying to do meaningful things in adaptive ways. They found engagement and either solid giving or even a rise in giving. I give thanks to God as I believe Saint Paul is in this second category.
While these may be trying times and unprecedented times, the times offer us an opportunity to be creative. They offer us an opportunity to be creative at worship and in fellowship and in service. The outdoor fellowship time after worship on September 27th is just one example. Coffee, tea, pre-packaged snacks and our lawn chairs in the parking lot allowed for socially distant visiting. This is but one example of this community’s creativity and faithfulness to God and to one another.
This October is the commemoration of Saint Francis. He was known to care for the animals and to recognize that God gave people the responsibility of caring for God’s creatures. For many of us, God’s creatures have been just the furry/scaly/feathery companions needed during these times. On Saturday, October 3rd, weather providing, will be an animal blessing, near the garden. For this outdoor worship, we’ll be socially distanced and enjoy God’s creatures out in God’s creation. It is a short service that includes a blessing and a treat for the pet/animal. Animals need to be in a carrier, on a leash or harness, in a cage or terrarium, or with a bridle.
Other ideas for fellowship and service include three types of exchanges – purse, book, and puzzle. In these, participants exchange these items (fellowship) and donate from that group (service) good quality purses/books/puzzle to various places such as to a women’s shelter, to the school(s), to Longview. These could be conducted in the fellowship hall with distancing, masks, and cleaning. The purse exchange will be October 17th at 1pm. See the blurb in the Pilot for more details.
What other serving things can you think of? Social things? We welcome creative ideas in worship, in reaching out to others socially, and in serving. How can we worship and live out our faith while keeping people safe during the pandemic? Don’t keep the ideas to yourself. Email them to Lori and I: Secretary@StPaulMoValley.org and Pastor@StPaulMoValley.org . Suggestions and volunteers are always welcome. Thank you, God, for a thriving community!
To God be the Glory,