An Adaptable Future

By Rev. Cindy Marino

2021.  I love being able to say that!  2020 was a year for the history books, and probably one we would just as soon forget. But I have to admit, we learned a lot in 2020. Much of what seemed to be foundational in our lives turns out to be not all that important. We missed simply being in one another’s presence.

Turns out that’s a big reason why we get involved in worship, fundraising events, classes, etc.  We like being together and we learn and gain strength in those times of togetherness. Our faith is still all about relationship with God and one another, and we do ministry along the way.

We’ve learned a lot about ourselves as the church as well. We’ve had to fast-track plans to reach out digitally. That had been a direction we were exploring in order to expand our reach, but without the pressing need brought about by the pandemic, it was easier to continue ministry as usual.

In the next few months, we pray we’ll be back in person! But many of the changes we made will become part of the way we work. We want those of you who travel for work, who prefer not to drive after dark, who have young children at home to be able to attend meetings and classes.  We want those who work on Sunday mornings to be able to worship with us. We want to be inclusive to those who can attend in person, but also those who can’t. Rather than being a traditional church that offers a few online options, we need to become an online presence that gathers people in person.

Many of the decisions made regarding ministry and mission at Grace have been adaptations required by unusual circumstances. But what if our decision-making process was always inclusive of change, of current needs, and renewable intentionality?  I’m excited by the possibilities presented by this new way of thinking and planning. We’re not alone in this new era of leading the church. There are some great resources coming out that can help us discern the path forward.

One of these resources is a book by Todd Bolsinger, (author of Canoeing the Mountains), called Tempered Resilience: How Leaders Are Formed in the Crucible of Change, (InterVarsity Press: 2020).  In January, I will be offering a discussion group using this book as a guide. I am inviting those currently in leadership as well as anyone feeling called to participate. Bolsinger uses the example of Moses as one who had to adapt and change as he led God’s people. Watch for more information online and in our weekly eblasts!

I am looking forward to a future together in ministry and mission that is adaptable and intentional. We’ll figure this out together!