How does one make plans? …when everything just might change…and there’s a good chance that things probably WILL change?
“Flexibility” – “Adaptability” – “Resilience” are words that come to mind. Make the plans…Set the schedule…Lay out the calendar…and then be ready for things “not to be that way”. So then two more words are vital: “Attitude” and “Expectations”. EXPECT that what you planned will look different in reality. Nurture an ATTITUDE that says: ‘OK. We’ve got to try something different. Let’s roll!”
That said, I’ll share some plans and probabilities for Fall 2020, based on conversations, planning sessions, brain-storming with staff, Council President Fred Borchers, Worship & Music committee, Sue Mendenhall, Nadine Anderson; and counsel from colleagues and Bishop’s staff.
Worship: Sunday morning worship will entail one service at 10am. This will probably continue through the end of the year. We may gradually introduce some singing into the services. Solos by a vocalist first; then perhaps congregational singing. Handbells –non-vocal music — may begin ringing in October.
Education: Learning/education will be offered in some form at 11am on Sundays. This may be “on – line” learning; it may include some class-room gatherings. Sue Mendenhall is surveying parents/families/congregational members about personal readiness, and feelings of safety/security. We are looking at 4 basic groupings: young elementary, Confirmation age, High School, and adult.
Confirmation/First Communion: We ‘lost’ these 2 mile-stone events due to COVID #19 in the Spring of 2020. We hope to re-schedule these before Christmas 2020. Whether we, as a congregation, can include Communion, however, remains an unknown.
Grace 50th Anniversary Celebration: We are preparing for a celebratory service November 15. Again, the precise nature of that celebration is fluid. The anniversary meal w/ program, will NOT occur on that date. TBD.
Rally Day has tentative plans to be a Rally Weekend. Gathering on Saturday morning @ 10am outside under the oak trees, with activities similar to “Yoga on the parking lot” which Jill planned on June 27th. It was very successful, and very safe.
GWOH: “God’s Work Our Hands” typically happens on the 2nd weekend of September. We are NOT planning scheduled groups/gatherings/projects as we have in past years, but I encourage every person to set a goal, “create an idea”, in your own individual way, to “show your love for the other” (“Love your neighbor as yourself” or “Random acts of Kindness”) and bring to light God’s Work in the world through your Hands.
And if everything listed above takes on a different shape, that’s the way life is!!! Just stay safe. Enjoy the ride! Be flexible – of body, mind & spirit. And this parting word of encouragement:
“Be strong, and of good courage; be not frightened neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”