A few weeks ago, Pastor Craig, in preaching on John 1:46, posed the question, “Can anything good come out of Covid?” It was a striking question for me and it’s been rolling around in my head since he posed it. What have been the good things to come out of the last year for me, for St. Peter’s, for the church?
As I pondered this one of the strongest conclusions I came to was that one of the greatest things to come out of Covid was the stronger sense of camaraderie the staff of St. Peter’s have been able to achieve. Since the pandemic began, I think we have checked in more with one another about the daily ins and outs of St. Peter’s than we did before. We have each taken on tasks which both support the ministry of the church as a whole and tasks which serve to support each other as we have tried to respond to ongoing changes in our world.
A few examples. First, I’ve learned much more about camera angles, live-streaming software, and microphones than I ever thought possible and use that knowledge to lay the groundwork for our online worship services each week. Pastor Sarah has taken 3-4 pages of notes each Monday morning as we have our weekly staff meetings and sent them out to remind our poor addled brains what we’re supposed to do next. Erik has taken on singing while I play the organ during worship services because, quite frankly, I just don’t have enough brain cells to play the organ and sing at the same time. Pastor Craig is managing a myriad of behind-the-scenes essential worship schedule details. Sister Dottie has facilitated a variety of ministries, transitions, and committees. I could go on and on. I have been so humbled to work as part of a ministry team where each person is ready and willing to step into unknown roles, all with the aim of furthering the mission of St. Peter’s.
Even more so, I’m humbled to serve among the people of St. Peter’s and to attempt to take care of the songs of our faith, even in a time when singing together is decidedly unsafe. I’m in awe of our youth who when asked to put together recordings for Youth Sunday jumped in wholeheartedly. I’m in awe of our children who are working on putting together a church musical, despite our inability to gather together. I’m in awe of our membership, who even in a time like this is taking the time to look forward to the future with an eye toward the mission of the church and undertake a fundraising campaign.
As I think about these things, these good things that came out of Covid, I am hopeful for the future. Now, I don’t tend to see the world through rose-colored glasses — anyone who is related to me will be quick to agree to that; however, I truly believe we are called by God to see beyond differences of opinion grounded in our personal likes and dislikes and to come together as a community grounded in love. I’m hopeful for a future where we can continue to work together to show the communities of Neffsville, Manheim Township, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and all who are connected to St. Peter’s this same love shown to us through Christ Jesus. I am convinced the Holy Spirit leads us on this path and that it is our job to set aside the petty ways of the world, focus on that which is truly important and life-giving, and to do the hard work that is building a community of faith by God’s grace.