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Disruption - Monday Musing, November 1, 2021

Dear Church,

Disruption – a disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process. Last week’s nor’easter (what Mainers call a “nor’eastah”) was certainly a disruption. We knew days in advance that a widespread storm was coming. We’ve seen it before. We weren’t worried. Storms come and storms go. Statistically, the friendly Meteorologist is oftentimes wrong, so nothing to get excited about. The weather in advance of the storm was so nice, it’s no wonder that so many of us were caught off guard!

Quoting Gomer Pyle, “Sur-prise, sur-prise, sur-prise!” I had heard heading into the storm that there could be power outages. Yup, we got that, and then some! Most everyone I talked to last week lost their power (only one lucky “survivor”). The church office tried reaching out to everyone, but it wasn’t possible given the severity of the outages – no electricity, no telephone. Many of us were without power for one or two days (the church was shut down Wednesday and Thursday because of no power and a disabled generator).

The outage interrupted many of our scheduled activities and routines. It was an inconvenient storm because who among us likes to have things disrupted in our lives? It is amazing how we rely on electricity. It is obvious that we take such “luxuries” for granted. As of Sunday morning, Eversource had restored power to 98% of The Cape. (If you weren’t one of them, you won’t be reading this message until your power is restored – my condolences).

I have been mulling this word disruption for several days. My reflections have had me pondering the second definition of the word – radical change to an existing industry or market due to technological innovation. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic (another disruption in our lives), the way many of us experience church is a result of technological innovation. We are approaching the one-year anniversary of The Federated Church of Orleans live-streaming our worship services. As a result, I have yet to meet many of you because you are taking advantage of this technology and not attending worship in-person.

The church experience has radically changed, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While many of us pine for the “good old days” when the sanctuary was full of people and kids, churches everywhere have seen a dramatic shift these past few years. Church is no longer just those who gather Sunday morning for worship. Church is you and me – the things we do, the places we go, and the people we encounter each and every day, not just on Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. We are the church, and these radical changes to religious experience can seem unnerving. But that’s what disruptions do. See you in church!




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