Thoughts From Your Regional Minister
Kansas Messenger, December issue
By: Ken Marston, Regional Minister
As I have reflected on the year that has been, I see 2020 as a year of great challenges and great opportunities. It has been a year of great heartache. The sudden death of loved ones (my mother being one), 250,000+ of our citizens dying from COVID-19 and related diseases, the killing of minority citizens that has raised the specter of systemic racism, and the strain of economic hardship have all strained our ability to cope. It has also been a year of sacrificial care by health care providers as people lay dying while family members could not be by their side. And it has been a year of significant adaptations in daily living as we have figured out how to utilize virtual conference calls to do business, worship, and to connect with each other in ways we had not considered before. In the face of these extremes we can find ourselves pulled in two directions.
On the one hand we can long for and try to recreate life the way it was before the pandemic. The problem is that we are no longer the same people now as we were before the pandemic. And recreating the past, even if it was the recent past will not help us adapt to the new reality of the post pandemic world.
The other direction we can go is to meet the challenge before us and choose the path of adapting to a changed reality. Yes, there are times when we need to be in the physical presence of each other, but we should not forgo utilizing Zoom and other electronic means of connecting and communicating. Such means for carrying out the work and ministry of the church saves both time and money and allows us to meet even when the roads are too bad to travel, to meet, or worship. Financially, providing multiple ways for people to support the life and work of the church will open revenue streams that will be vital for the life of the church. Another advantage is that this new means of connecting opens new connections with the wider church that provides resources quicker than we ever had before.
So, let us go into the new year with a renewed hope. For God is transforming the church around us. There is a bright future ahead and as we step into it in faith, we will find God leading us to new life and a vitality that will sustain the church for generations.