(Pastor’s Column for Trinity Epistle, June 2020)
Dear Friends in Christ,
Of all the things that the time of the pandemic is, and there are plenty of descriptors, it could also be a time of deep listening. In the midst of this listening, our congregation will continue to carry out the practices that both ground us and shape us–worship, study, prayer, generosity, sharing the Good News. But some deep listening might guide us to transform and adapt those faith practices and to even create new ones.
Of course we are always listening to God through scripture and prayer. As Christians, we are also called to listen to to the world through our neighbors. What are their stories? What are their longings? What are their questions?
You might listen through conversations with your neighbors. You might listen through social media venues like neighborhood Facebook pages or the Next-door app. You might read letters to the editor and probe for what is between the lines. Listen for people’s physical needs, their emotional needs, and their spiritual needs. Bring all that listening to your prayer and worship life. Now what do you hear? What is going on in the space between our neighbors stories, God’s story, and our story? What might God be calling us to be and do in light of the present reality and God’s promises? I do not yet know what we will discover, but if we do this work faithfully, we might discover some brand new opportunities. Please tell me what you hear.