Ten Things Churches Stopped Doing During Lockdowns
That We Don’t Need to Restart (And 6 We Do)

Karl Vaters is Teaching Pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Orange County, CA, a writer and blogs at karlvaters.com.  About two weeks ago one of his pieces was re-posted On the SNEUCC Leadership Forum bearing the above title.  It is an intriguing set of ideas, and you can find the full post here:  Karl Vaters Article
 
A lot of what he writes resonates with me, because I’ve been thinking along some of the same lines.  And as we begin to regather, we may want to bear the general thrust of his comments in mind, which I take to be, we need to focus less on church and more on ministry in the name of Jesus.  Still, not all of his suggestions fit us here at the United Church.  For example, I don’t see us doing away with bulletins any time soon.  While many folks know the order of service by heart, a bulletin provides visitors with a road map of sorts for worship.  I understand that it is possible to go paperless on Sunday morning, but not everyone wants to try to follow the service on their cell phone.  If you’ve ever scanned a QR code to read a restaurant menu, you’ll understand what I mean.
 
As well, I won’t be giving up my office hours any time soon – make that any time at all.   Sure, I worked from home quite a lot in the past thirteen months, but my office is where I keep all my tools, that is, my books, Bibles and reference materials.  Plus it helps me remain accessible to the congregation, especially important to me since I don’t live in town.  Yes, I know how to use a phone, email and text, but there is no suitable replacement for being present.
 
As for the six things we do need, I am in hearty agreement with every single one.  We need the sacraments, we need music, we need table fellowship (eventually) again.  And so we will.  As you will see, we are taking regathering one step at a time, utilizing the safest practices we know how, and learning from every new worship experience. 

 
(PS  If you see William Shakespeare today, wish him a Happy Birthday!)

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