The whole world was thrown into turmoil in 2018 with the outbreak of the Covid virus. Fear and paralysis gripped entire populations as people cowered before this unknown threat. Governments and institutions imposed lockdowns in efforts to protect their citizens from infection, and life began a slowdown as individuals were unwilling to venture out to shop, work, or attend any public event where contact with others might lead to exposure to the virus.
Our church was not immune to these events. Our Sunday worship services were suspended and we ceased to meet in person for events or fellowship. But our congregation exhibited a spirit of resilience. We instituted an on-line worship experience and utilized Zoom capabilities or parking lot gatherings for various meetings, Bible study and other events. But these services generated additional expenses, and our regular contributions declined.
Only in recent months have we begun to see a recovery from these times. We are worshipping and meeting together again, although our worship attendance is lower. Our financial giving and other income remain below pre-pandemic levels. We may long to return to the former times, but we know deep inside that this is not possible. We face a world that has changed; a challenge of new and different times. Life, and our church, will not be the same going forward.
Honestly recognizing this reality presents new opportunities. As we look and move into a new and different future we can grasp these opportunities to create a better Berwyn United Methodist Church well suited to grapple with, overcome and build on new and different challenges.
All this requires that we see and respond to visions of life that can become realities. To do this we must remain committed to support our church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness. Regular financial gifts are an important part of this commitment. Financial resources undergird and make possible our continued presence, witness and service.
This post was orignally published in the November 2022 of the Lighted Cross. Please use the links below to view the full newsletter.