Weekly Missive | March 12, 2021
Wither Our Worship?
Hybrid Church Workshop with Bruce Reyes-Chow - April 23-24
As the country begins to re-open for “normal” activity, our churches, too, face the daunting prospect of discerning when and how to re-open. The recommended calculus includes the interaction of (1) reduced, local infection rates, (2) increased percentage of vaccinated persons, and (3) continued use of health practices (e.g. masks, social distancing, ventilation, and check-ins on attendees wellness and the wellness of others in the same household!). Whether this means it will be safer to re-open for Easter, Pentecost, or Kick-off Sunday next Fall is a question for Session discernment through prayer and dialogue.
 
What’s a church to do?
 
Beyond the “when” and “what criteria” questions suggested above, further discernment will be required regarding what our worship life will look, sound, and feel like moving forward. As I noted in last week’s missive, we are not returning to the old normal of December 2019 but seeking to move into a safer 2022. The metaphor offered by a CDC employee remains valid: just as 9/11 led to the TSA and changed forever the way we travel, so COVID is changing forever the way we gather. 
 
What’s a church to do?

The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow will address this question on April 24, 2021, during our next presbytery meeting. Bruce will present five models for post-COVID worship options as a 90-minute workshop from 1:00-2:30 on Saturday, April 24. Bruce’s presentation will include discussion of the challenges and opportunities of each model as well as the technical, financial, and personnel requirements of each. Also on April 24, in the morning as part of our corporate worship, Kellie Hart, a consultant with Worship Design Studios, will demonstrate and present ideas for crafting worship as a virtual experience.
 
But wait, what’s happening on April 23 if presbytery is the next day?
 
For those interested in exploring best practices currently done among our own churches, there will be a pre-presbytery event in which churches will share the what, the how and the why of their virtual worship journey. Five churches have been recruited to present what they are doing that seems to work well, how they are doing it, and why they have chosen to prepare worship in this manner the way they have. Each church has been asked to create a brief presentation and then allow time for questions and dialogue among participants. The five churches range from technologically (fairly) simple to more sophisticated expressions of virtual worship. The purpose of this pre-presbytery event is to share best practices with one another, so come look, listen and learn from other pastors, elders and techies!
 
What’s a church to do?
 
Well, save the date: April 23 for a pre-presbytery event as we share best practices and learn from one another and April 24 for the presbytery meeting with nationally recognized speakers. Presbytery staff will create a fuller description of both the April 23 and April 24 events as details are firmed up, so be looking for more. What shall be as we move toward a safer 2022 is not yet known—only that Jesus is with us even to the end of the age.
 
We journey together,
 
Brad Munroe 
SAVE THE DATE:
Next Meeting of Presbytery - Saturday, April 24 via Zoom

ATTN CLERKS- please send the names and emails for your elder commissioners to pbyoffice@gmail.com so that materials and the Zoom link can be sent to them.

The materials will be posted to the website the week before. The call will be emailed two weeks before to clerks and Pastors (active, honorably retired and others)

Prayers for CRE Loretta Blackwater, Sacaton, as she awaits lung transplant surgery.
April 7-9 | Virtual Event

Join us to learn, organize and advocate around environmental justice! Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Days offer an opportunity to support this global movement centered on and led by the people and communities most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic racial and colonial inequities. We continue to see how the historic reality of colonialism and structural racism has designed systems that live on today through environmental racism and a myriad of other injustices that grew out of the same evil roots. Throughout 2020, these systemic issues manifested themselves in the disproportionate number of racial and ethnic minorities who became sick with and died of COVID-19, as well as the continued extrajudicial killing of Black men and women.

The Earth and its people are groaning. We are called to respond.
Board of Pensions Tax Guide
Access the BOP website for a helpful tax guide for ministers that includes a Housing Allowance letter
CLICK HERE TO LOG IN. For help downloading the document or logging in, contact BOP at 800-773-7752.