Prayer Closet - Monday Musing, June 8, 2020
In yesterday’s UCC Stillspeaking Daily Devotional, Marchaé Grair tells how her grandmother talked about going into her “prayer closet,” not knowing (at the time) that her grandma was simply saying she was making time to be alone with God. In the midst of a global pandemic, we certainly have been locked in our homes for a really long time, haven’t we? Have we used this opportunity to strengthen our relationship with God?
I ask this question not to guilt you into feeling bad, but rather to initiate a discussion of how the church stays connected to the Holy when we are unable to gather for in-person worship. I get it, some of us are not fans of online worship, cannot figure out Zoom, and are hoping beyond hope that we can return to the sanctity of the Federated Church of Orleans sanctuary. But how are we staying connected to God?
At the end of the Gospel of Matthew, before Jesus ascends to heaven, his final words were to “make disciples…teach them… and remember, I am with you always.” The Great Commission is particularly challenging in the midst of a global pandemic. Ministry as we have always known it seems nearly impossible right now.
There is no tried-and-true ministry map during a pandemic, so for me, Jesus’ words, “I am with you always” gives comfort as we begin this new ministry together. How about you? Are you feeling confident and self-assured with how things are right now? I welcome the company on this journey of faith in these times that a colleague of mine refers to as loose gravel. I can use a few companions as we walk this challenging ministry path. Join me.
This past week I made great use of online technology, hosting two “office hours” by Zoom, giving us the chance to connect, as well as hosting a Zoom Prayer & Devotion on Wednesday, spending a bit of time mid-week to lift our collective prayers to God. I will continue these Zoom opportunities this week. In addition, two outside house meetings will be held.
Pastoral calls in the midst of a global pandemic changes the way we communicate, but I encourage you to be open to creative ways for us to get to know one another as we embark on this mutual ministry. Here is how you can reach me – church: 508-255-3060; home: 774-801-2336; cell/text: 207-944-9469; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and mail: 4 Liberty Lane, Orleans, MA 02653.
As you go into your prayer closet this week, know you are not alone. We will get through this pandemic – praying together.