Dean Phelps, Interim Regional Minister
A recent meme on social media gave me comfort. It was a picture of a note signed simply, “Your Pastor.” The essence of the note was that I’ve never pastored during a pandemic before. We’ve not been here in our lifetimes, but together, we will get through this.
Your regional ministry is taking steps to mitigate spreading the Coronavirus. We are complying with the recommendation not to gather in groups of 10 or more.
- Effective March 17, the regional office on Red Mile Road will be closed through March 31. No staff of the Christian Church in Kentucky will be available in the office. We are working from home, where we will be able to respond to email and to phone messages. If needed, we are prepared to extend the closure period.
- The Disciples Women Spring Conferences scheduled for April 18 and 25 have been cancelled.
- We are aware that with school closings, some school district schedules now overlap with the camp schedules at Kum Ba Ya and Wakon-Da’Ho. We also cannot predict what restrictions might still be in place by June. The site committees for both camps are continuing to discuss the impact to our summer camp programs. We do not know yet what action will be required, but at this point all options are on the table.
- District clergy meetings will shift to a video conference format rather than gathering in person.
- Regional meetings up to and including the Regional Board meeting scheduled for May 9 will be held via video conference. The Committee on Ministry has postponed the in-care interviews that were scheduled for this week.
This is not just about complying with recommendations and mandates, though. I believe that each step we are taking aligns with the call to love our neighbor. None of these are easy steps, but making these sacrifices helps us protect the most vulnerable among us.
Many pastors and congregations have made the difficult decision not to gather in groups for worship. As a result, we have witnessed wonderful creativity in finding new ways to worship as a community without being in the same room.
During times like this, it is essential that we stay connected. We need to watch that isolation does not turn into loneliness. At the same time, we cannot become overwhelmed. Take time to breathe. Take time with your family. Take time to just be.
The church is called to be a community of faith, of welcome, and of healing. That ministry will look different over the next few weeks and months. However, together we will get through this, and we will get through with a faith that is stronger and a commitment that is deeper.
Thank you for your partnership in the ministry we share. I count it a blessing to serve with you.