January 12, 2021
For those who are Facebook users the banner above is awfully familiar. For those who have avoided FB, this is usually at the top of your page. A lot of times it’s easy to ignore. When you’re looking for something particular or you already have an item to post or you’re just catching up on “the news,” it’s easy to scroll past the question. But then there are days like today when the question takes the form of pestering or nagging. What’s on your mind, Heidi?
At times, the answer is “nothing special,” or “nothing I should post on Facebook.” Yet at other times it has been an invitation to share an idea, a feeling, a wish, or a prayer. The posts are rarely profound, but they are a window into what I’m doing or where I am or what concerns me. I try to be mindful of what I am saying. I am aware of the incredible diversity of my FB friends and family, so it’s important to me to only say things I would be willing to paint on the side of a barn. This doesn’t always keep me out of trouble. I have a few relatives who have views quite different from my own and at times there have been fevered debates. Also, pastors tend to be an opinionated bunch so there’s always a chance for heated conversation on that front.
But, what’s on your mind, Heidi? During the pandemic it has been difficult to spend time with others. We’ve had to learn new skills or adapt the old in order to communicate with each other. People have wondered if “the church” can really be “the church” if we are not physically present with each other. Is it really worship if we’re participating through Facebook or YouTube or Zoom?
I have thought about this a lot! My personal experience is that it is possible to have meaningful relationships with people online. The quality of my extended family relationships has been forever changed by electronic connections. I have long time friends who I’ve never met in person, whose voices would be unfamiliar to me. I have been blessed by preaching and music and prayer that I’ve watched on my laptop, TV and phone. I have had some interesting learning experiences both as a teacher and a student. And LYF fellowship is almost as much fun on Zoom as it can be in person!
Not everyone likes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the rest. It can be incredibly intrusive especially when you keep getting ads for something you decided not to buy. And of course, there are people who have misused the data that has been shared. However, I feel very strongly that the church as a whole, needs to keep looking at how we get connected and stay connected. The pandemic has forced us into looking at new models for ministry and many of them will continue to have value even when the pandemic is over.
On the flip side one of the things that we’ve all missed is seeing each other’s smiling faces. Babies have learned to crawl. Kids have lost their first teeth. Seventh graders are taller. Teenagers have started looking more like young adults and less like old children. I have more white hair. My husband has less. So, here’s an invitation. Take a photo of yourself or your family and send it for posting on Facebook and in Sunday worship. If you want to take a quick video saying, “peace be with you!” or “Go in peace, serve the Lord!” That would be great too. You can send these items to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text at 267.463.3586. Hopefully, we’ll have some smiling faces to share with you this week and in the weeks to come!
Peace be with you!
Sunday, 10:15am Online Worship on Facebook and YouTube
Sunday, 10:45am Virtual Sunday School on Zoom - Click here to log in or go directly to Zoom and use the Meeting ID: 814 2963 2465, Passcode: 358020