Lately I have been thinking about the word – leadership. What is leadership? Leadership is defined in the dictionary as: “the action of leading a group of people or an organization, the state of position of being a leader, the leaders of an organization, country, etc.” Throughout my studies in life I have read many books on leadership, taken classes on leadership, and done continuing education on leadership. But nothing has prepared me to lead you through a pandemic. This past week both Christ Lutheran Church Council and Shiloh Lutheran Church Council met to discuss where we are and when might we have in-person worship and gathering together. Both Councils had great participation and were ripe with creative ideas of how we could begin to meet together and yet continue to keep our most vulnerable safe and care for those who still do not feel safe to go out in public.
This truly continues to be a challenging time for us all. We need to take the time to reach out and care for each other through prayers, phone calls, notes, and safe ways to gather. One safe way to gather is through good social distancing and wearing a mask. The masks don’t protect us as much as they protect others around us. That is compassion for our friends, family, and complete strangers. Another way is to gather on Zoom meetings. I have observed that the more people gather on Zoom the better they become engaged in the conversation. At CLC, we have a weekly Bible Study on Zoom and we just added a Sunday fellowship time at 11:00 am. At Shiloh we are working on gathering at an outdoor Church in the Meadow service (more info as the plans fall into place). Both of your church council have been creative and faithful in exploring safe ways to develop our relationship with others and continue to show great leadership on your behalf.
I have to say that this has been a challenging time and the end is not in sight. Tom, Elaina, Cody, and I work hard each week to put out a meaningful worship service and to improve on it each week. I struggle to find new ways to communicate with members and still maintain my sense of balance. I have had a couple of meltdowns and try to focus on doing the best I can with the resources God has given me: prayer, scripture, support of family and friends, and great shared leadership within each congregation. Together we will get through ALL of this! We have not changed at our core and we are finding new ways to be in relationship with each other. May God continue to be our Guide and Strength! I leave you with Isiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”