Touch Points and Technology

By Rev. Cindy Marino

“Thank you for your leadership to keep our church family together during these challenging times!” (a text message I received this week.)

I was so excited to see that message the other day in my text messages.  It was a touch point that personally buoyed me for the coming week. Staying together while staying apart has been a challenge indeed!  So many at Grace have stepped up to help make that happen through the ministries that continue to thrive. And so, together, we continue to expand our faith.

And now we have another way to bring the church together. We’re back in the Sanctuary for worship! 

I am excited to share that beginning Sunday, October 11, at 10:30 a.m., we will once again open the Sanctuary each week for worship at 10:30 a.m. Those who feel ready to return to worship in person can register in advance to be one of the 50 persons allowed by CDC guidelines. All of the usual safeguards will apply. We will send out registration information soon.

The greatest thing about being back in the Sanctuary is that we can live-stream our traditional service for you at home, or wherever you are. You will be able to feel more a part of worship than ever before as you see and hear all that happens, as it happens. We are so grateful to Ginny Lacy, Larry Allen, and Jo Ellen Bender (in loving memory of Dorotha Bender) for their contributions to the Sanctuary equipment that allows all of this to happen!

Communicating the gospel looks different these days, but the love of God is worth the effort to do whatever it takes. The mission to expand the love of God through all the ways we can is still our number one priority at Grace. While technology is important, so are the touch points we find along the way. 

We are finding new ways to provide those touch points.  The drive-through Rally Day brought dozens of folks to the Grace property. I met the Hatfields, visitors whose names I have seen but who now also have a face, a smile, and a story! 
This past weekend I met with Chamus, our Director of Children’s Faith Formation, as she delivered bibles to our Kindergartners and 3rd graders. I pulled up to one of the homes and the kids raced toward me. The little boy said to me, “I remember you. You talked to me about my grandma when she died.”  

“Yes … yes  I did,” a touch point that told a five-year-old God loves him!  And now he knows through the gift of this Bible from his church, and by seeing his Sunday school teacher’s smile in person on his front lawn!

Touch points along the way teach us about God’s love.

As we think about the special events we celebrate at Grace, we need to consider those touch points that happen through them and consider how to create them even without the event itself.  

How can we honor our longtime members even without Harvest Home? How can we celebrate the friendship of women even without Celebrate the Season?  How can we remember those we have lost without a gathering to celebrate their lives on All Saints Day? 

Can we experience the profound joy of the candlelight service on Christmas Even in new ways? That last one is receiving a lot of attention as we plan for an outdoor candlelight/luminary walk. 

All of these events provide the needed touch points that serve as reminders of God’s love. We need these reminders more than ever, as do those we serve in this community and beyond.

How can we provide these touch points to teachers struggling to stay inspired for their kids on Zoom? How can we provide these touch points to those feeling the pain of discrimination, or the conflict of politics, or the grief that comes with being alone?

Communicating the gospel looks different these days, but the love of God is worth the effort to do whatever it takes. Where can you create a touch point with someone who needs to be reminded? It’s a challenge we accept because the mission is so vital.  Join the mission to expand the love of God through all the ways we can.