How deeply I miss being with everyone. This is truly a surreal moment. As we’ve rolled past 40-days with stay-at-home orders and talks of cautious reopening is still at least several weeks out, I’m struck with the reality that the world has drastically changed and we are still not sure how.
One thing I know is our call to family, community, and the mission of God has not changed. Vehicles for communication and methods for participation are looking wildly different. It is taking extra steps to engage. It’s requiring preparation and leaves us without the option of simply spectating.
In light of all that is shifting, I wanted to take a minute to acknowledge the strangeness and to encourage you with intention.
If anything has been challenging us as a family it is schedule and routine. Without regular visitors, mandatory work and school schedules, and the irregularity of life it has been easier to forget days of the week or get lost in time.
With that I want to say… community, family, and mission are important. I want to share some suggestions for remembering and creating sacred space, but these are just thoughts on what has been helpful in our home and will hopefully help get you thinking creatively on creating practices of service, reflection, rest, and connection.
1. Set a reminder
As someone that has been working from home for over 7 years, the idea of clocking in and out and start/end times has been a consistent struggle. If left to myself I can get lost in work. Redemption Communities and the structure it brings has always been a space we have cleared with intention. Now that this is virtual, we’ve had to take extra steps in preparing our home and minds. It has been helpful to stop working earlier, spend time reflecting, and creating space with cleaning and setting up technology ahead of time.
2. Join the calls
This is a struggle in a lot of ways. It is not as easy as sitting because for most of us Zoom and live streaming has a formality to it or anxiety of being in front of a camera. That is me again acknowledging it is weird. That said, we need these points of connection, even if you feel like you are doing good, your involvement reminds us we are a part of something bigger.
3. Physical participation
Keep things like communion elements, candles, and other things for physical expression on hand. These extra steps and activation opportunities have been a sweet reminder that we are connected and not alone. Knowing others are joining us in corporate readings, prayers, and meditation gives us a chance to reflect on the idea that the church is sent into every place and spread into every sector of society. We now more than ever are a distributed display of the kingdom – in our home, work, education, community, city.
4. Love your neighbors well
This takes a little extra creativity, but we have met more of our neighbors and had more conversations with the people around us than ever. Share your resources, leave a note, start a text thread with some people, check-in, do more in your front yard (I know it is getting hot). These things have really happened in our community but be creative and respond in relevant ways based on if you are in an apartment building or home.
5. Don’t wait
If someone comes to mind, text, call, send a note, don’t wait. It’s easy to brush off those feelings or to procrastinate until we forget. Now more than ever, a short message can go a long way.
I could go on and on with ideas, but hopefully, this gets you thinking. Check if your RC is meeting and how. Engage even when it is uncomfortable. Continue showing grace upon grace. We long to be together in one place, until that day we hope you feel supported and resourced to continue walking out your faith. Stay creative, use the technology you have available, stay humble, and remain faithful.
– Josh Dailey