Grace Episcopal Church has suspended all in-person campus events, activities, and worship services until further notice. Please visit our Grace@Home page to see ways we are staying connected to one another, to Grace, and to God during the days ahead.
422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501
Only last week I kept adding things to my “to do list,” while sitting at my desk. I followed my daily routine and knew what to expect from day to day. There was a certain expectation of what “church” looked like. I now have soul-whiplash.
I know this note will find most if not all of you very disoriented. Others may be angry, still others deeply grieving for the loss of a rhythm of worship and community. All of us find ourselves confused and concerned, for health and well-being and for our need to plan.
Some of us on staff went to school for years and trained to do things a certain way. We thought we knew what to expect, and we felt capable and competent (for the most part). I for one, never imagined that we would need to re-imagine the structure of what “church” looked like on this scale. This was never an elective in any of my courses.
But spiritual imagination was an elective, and prayer was a core foundational class throughout all my studies, as was pastoral care and the essentials of Christian community. The truth of this has helped ground me in these first days of this new stage of our journey. I am choosing to ground myself in seeing that this challenge is an opportunity to reorient ourselves around the essentials of what it means to be a conscious Christian community. That is where I am putting my bucket down.
To help us begin our first steps in these days, I will hold a “dinner conversation” Facebook live stream on Tuesday, March 17 at 6:30 PM. We have worked to set up a new page on our parish website that will be a landing point for what we are calling Grace@Home. I look forward to introducing it to you. I cannot commend the staff enough for their dedication, resilience, honesty, and collegiality.
here is the video that aired March 17 at 6:30
Amos Wilder is one of my key conversation partners. He wrote this in his book Theopoetic: Theology and Religious Imagination, a book I always keep close at hand.
It is at the level of the imagination that the fateful issues of our new world-experience must first be mastered. It is here that culture and history are broken, and here that the church is polarized. Old words do not reach across the new gulfs, and it is only in vision and oracle that we can chart the unknown and new-name the creatures.
I believe this is what we are called to do now: chart the unknown and new-name the creatures. And while this feels so daunting–and there are many real concerns to face–I can never forget those core classes of spiritual imagination, prayer, pastoral care, and the essentials of Christian community.
I invite you to join me Tuesday, March 17 at 6:30 PM for the live stream.
I give thanks to God for you all,