April 2020 Tidings (special issue)

Flyer with text laying on a wooden surface

Greetings, people of Mt Carmel and friends,

We have all passed through the wormhole into a new world! How strange it is to be unable to gather for work, worship or play. I hope you all are doing well and finding ways to cope, connect and take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. For instance, have you been looking for the chance to binge-watch anything? Or perhaps you have been trying to institute game night in your family but nobody was ever home and free at the same time. Well, opportunity knocks.

I think there are opportunities that go deeper than that. As I’ve pointed out numerous times before, faith communities like ours have already been experiencing dislocation and thrust into change simply because the world has been changing around us.

Now, in pandemic times the need for change is put on a fast track. We do well to remember Romans 8:28: For we know that all things work for the good for those who God has called according to his purpose. Translation: not all things are good, but by the power of God to bring life even out of death, God can bring forth good results from bad events. Or dark, pandemic clouds hanging over us.

For instance, social media has been called both blessing and curse, and now we are actively exploring how it is a blessing; how we can use it to not only post what we did today, but it can help us get work done, maintain friendships and keep communities together.

As we are learning to meet via Zoom, Facebook Live and Google Hangout, we are developing skills that will help us all be more agile and responsive in the years ahead. Perhaps when we can worship in the sanctuary again, we will continue to broadcast our service to connect with those who cannot or do not wish to be at church physically.

Perhaps when we offer a class at church, there will be two audiences: those who are physically present, and those who are with us via Zoom.

As we navigate our fears and boredom, we are called to be creative and help each other. So, I would like to ask you all:

  1. How can we at Mt. Carmel be of assistance or encouragement to you?
  2. How does your faith get lived out now without access to our building?
  3. What are questions and topics that would like to see addressed in sermons and groups?
  4. What new practice, routine or insight are you learning that you might like to share with others?
  5. Where do you see Good News around you—evidence of the risen Christ?

To any or all of these questions, please email, phone, or comment on Facebook. This is a time for increased communication, not less!

I look forward to what God will reveal through each of you and us together in the weeks ahead!

Christ is risen!
Pastor John

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