For Our Leadership Meeting this Sunday: Some Questions to Ponderby The Rev. Daniel P. Strandlund on September 9, 2021
As I said this past Sunday, our next Bishop’s Committee meeting is this Sunday, September 12 at 7:30pm. We’ll meet via Zoom, for about an hour. The link is included as a post script at the bottom of this newsletter piece.
BC meetings are always open to the congregation, and in this regard, this meeting is no different. Actually, I am hoping that other leaders and involved folks will come. In more usual times, our Leadership Team (which is our BC + any volunteer who is in charge of anything) gathers two or three times a year, both for business and occasionally for some team building and reflection. Those meetings are/were open to the congregation, too.
We’ve not had one of those in a while, and it seems like a good idea to gather the troops, so to speak. Plus, our ‘in-person’ congregation is pretty trim, but I know there are other folks tuning in online. It would be good to hear what they’ve got to say, too. So: if you’re reading this and you call St. Liz home, you’re welcome to come.
We’ll have a brief bit of business on the front end, but mostly I’m hoping we’ll have a guided conversation. Here is what’s on my mind: before Coronatide, two of the biggest pieces of our identity as a congregation were our children’s programming and our sense of community, both on Sunday mornings and (for many) in life groups on weekdays, both at each other’s homes and at church in the choir.
Neither of those things is happening too much right now, and they haven’t been for a long time. In the broadest, most open-ended terms, my question for us is this: who is St. Liz during the pandemic?
More specifically, I don’t want us (or me!) to make either of two assumptions which are tempting right now. The first assumption I don’t want to make is that we are doing everything we can and should be doing to meet the spiritual needs of our congregation. The pandemic has kicked up recently, and that is a big and legitimate concern. However, this has been going on long enough now that it’s easy for us to avoid trying certain things before we’ve really considered them just “because COVID.” The line between wise caution and simple inertia is subtle. I want us to be attentive to it. A lean program year is probably good and right; I just want the leanness to be a conscious decision and not the result of unconscious inertia.
The second assumption is simply the reverse of the first: I don’t want to assume, and I don’t want us as a congregation to assume, that just because Sundays are small or that life groups aren’t firing up like normal that there’s a lot we should be doing right now but aren’t. Making plans is a far more tenuous process than it was two years ago, and getting busy just for the sake of feeling or appearing busy won’t serve us. Many folks, especially those with children and those caring for ill or elderly loved ones, have all they can manage, particularly when so many choices about what to do and where to go involve weighing health risks. Our expectations for what Church is right now must honor this reality.
Finally, one thing that hasn’t changed is that St. Liz still runs on Holy Spirit and the work of faithful volunteers, both in terms of specific, concrete roles and in volunteering our presence, prayers, and attention to each other. It remains true that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13). At our meeting Sunday, your BC and I are hoping to get a clearer sense of whether we are doing enough of the right things to sustain us as a congregation. Is Sunday morning working the way it needs to? Are our extra-Sunday offerings what they need to be? Questions like this. If yes, then good! If not, then I hope to hear what the Spirit might be leading us to change, and who among us might be called to be the agents of that change.
So, again, 7:30pm this Sunday, via Zoom. I hope you’ll consider joining, and I look forward to our time together.
P.S. Here is the Zoom link + info for the meeting.
Daniel Strandlund is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Leadership Meeting
Time: Sep 12, 2021 07:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 819 7616 7332