Who are ministers: is it you, is it me, or is it the other person in the pew?
The answer is “yes” to all. How do we do this in the time of Covid? What has Covid taught us and are we going to learn the lesson?
If Covid has taught us anything it is that we are not in control. We are not the masters of this planet we call home. A little microscopic virus has changed the way we live, the way we travel, the way we interact with each other. We no longer meet face to face, we Zoom or FaceTime, text, call, or use other technologies. Covid has taught us that we are resilient. We find ways to work around difficulties. We develop new ways, new vaccines; we cope. It may seem like this has gone on forever, but in real time it has been a short time: a couple of years out of millenniums. Environmentally, how has this time been for the earth. The cycle of regeneration seen in nature should be a hopeful sign for us.
Nature can recover if we give it a chance. If we work with creation; if we take the advice of scientists and environmentalists and work with our planet. If we become the Stewards of creation that we were and are meant to be. Now, if we can take the lessons learned through Covid, hand in hand with the world we could be unstoppable.
How does this help us in ministry? We should take the positive lesson that we learned through coping, adjusting and adapting during Covid, and put them into action. We are able to overcome adversity in any form by working together. We can overcome Covid and learn to live with it. We can find new and imaginative ways to do ministry. We can work with each other to move forward. How we do this is up to us. We need to find ways to work together to enrich each others lives. We need to work with each other. We need to work with the world and we need to realise we have the ability to move forward and not back into our old habits. We now know that the three R’s reduce, recycle, reuse, should be taken to heart.
We need to take these lessons into our ministry. Let us not fall into the old ways that ministry is only done by the Priest and the Deacon. We must empower all people to be and do the work. If we are to create the Kingdom on earth we must work together.
We can no longer wait for someone else to do the work. It must be us, it must be you, it must be the people in the pews. If we use this imposed fallow time that Covid has given us to renew and go out into the world in a new way; and maybe, just maybe, we can be the difference we want to make.