Resource Roundup: Easter Week
In the coronavirus crisis, we’re all navigating new waters together: individuals and families, priests and congregations. So let’s learn from each other, as Christians around the globe contemplate how to respond in Christlikeness. Below we’ve summarized some recent helpful articles from various Christian publications, outlining ways to respond both personally and corporately.
Not Even the Gates of a Hellish Pandemic Will Prevail Over God’s Church
by Fr. Esau McCaulley
It seems, then, that the height of the COVID-19 pandemic is precisely the time to speak about hope rooted in God’s promises. These promises are not about the American economy. God has made no guarantees in that regard. He has also not guaranteed that all of us will survive. We will not. What, then, has he promised? That not even the gates of hell will prevail over the church (Matt. 16:18).
I don’t know what the future of Christianity holds in the weeks and months to come. I do know, however, that the church will not be overcome by a virus. I know this is not the end, and I know that we will in fact worship together again.
But is it possible to say even more? Is it possible to say, like Ezekiel, that the intense pain of this season can lead to a grander vision for a reinvigorated people of God? Is it possible to say that at the end of all this, we won’t simply resume our work but expand and grow the church with fresh confidence in God’s providence? I for one am anxious to see what kind of church emerges from this trial. I pray that it will be glorious. Read it all…
11 Self Care Reminders for Clergy and Caregivers
by Daniel G. Bagby
1. Grief and stress. Ministering “in isolation” from your flock wasn’t in your ministry plan for the year. Worship, study and fellowship are all being reshaped and re-scripted because of the coronavirus epidemic. It’s vitally important to recognize and manage your own experiences of grief and stress. Acknowledge your feelings – including helplessness, dejection and sadness – and find a way to share them.
2. Compassion fatigue. The novel coronavirus crisis is creating a different and deeper kind of compassion fatigue. Among other demands, pastors and other ministers are spending more time than ever utilizing a different mode of communication, including technology tools that are unfamiliar to many of us.
Remember the three most common “clergy responses” to overextension: depression, hypersensitivity and compulsivity. Remember what you have undoubtedly preached to your congregants: that Jesus took time off from the crowds, his followers and his inner circle of 12 disciples.
The Slow Word Movement
with Rev. Summer Gross
Welcome to the Slow Word Movement. I love to set the table for people to spend time with Jesus.
As a spiritual director who spends much of my ministry creating space for people to be in the Presence of God, I know the value of setting the table for just two. And when one of my people needs a nourishing meal? I’m there. My beautiful sister Stephanie is a busy mama who runs a non-profit bringing awareness to human trafficking. When we celebrated her birthday last month over brioche at a small cafe, she leaned over and said she was feeling hungry for more of the Word. I watched her try to enjoy breakfast with a toddler whose curiosity meant she could barely carry on a conversation. She asked me for these small videos setting the table for her to be with Jesus. A few simple unpolished videos and a few days later she asked if she could start sending them to friends. The SLOW Word Movement was born.
Eastertide in the Time of Coronatide
by David O. Taylor
As followers of Jesus, we face ahead of us a very strange Easter season. What then does it mean to celebrate Eastertide in the middle of what one clever neologist has called Coronatide? How do we choose joy when we feel only tired and dispirited? How do we rejoice in the new life that Christ’s resurrection promises when we face more of the “same old same old” for the foreseeable future? Read more…