In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other. –Romans 12:5
This is a great photograph. It’s a sign of the times, and it’s something that was unimaginable in every way when Rebekah first started her work (in 1982) as an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament. It is also a great testimony to the spirit, the health, and the future of Wake Forest Presbyterian Church.
What’s happening is the monthly church “session meeting.” Rebekah is moderating a gathering of the elders of WFPC, and some of the professional staff are also present.
On the screen you can see around 20 little squares. Each one is the live video and voice presence of an elder. As I worked at my desk in another room Thursday evening I heard snippets of prayer, serious reports, scripture, laughter, pressing concerns, and more prayer – life and love poured out in good measure.
Still doing vital ministry:
WFPC is a body of some 750 members, more than 1,000 people classified by the denomination as “adherents”, two pastors, many professional staff, and a 2020 budget that will end up somewhere over $1,000,000. Yet – the same as every church in the United States and pretty much the entire world – we are unable to physically be together for the foreseeable future.
So Rebekah is meeting with the elders and they are applying their considerable cumulative faith, calling, imagination, and abilities to the question that is “how?” – not if, but how – we are going to continue to be a church and a shining light of witness and love in and to this community.
Here’s a scripture I love. I used it recently and I will use it again:
In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other. – Romans 12:5
“Individually” we belong to “each other…”
This is so important. I was hunkered down most of Thursday trying to get my computer to cooperate with this oh-so-important technology of connection. Eventually my friend John managed to help me get ZOOM situated on my old iPad – for the purpose of me teaching the class we lead, Sunday morning after worship.
These points of connection are so important. We were made – purposefully created – with the idea of community front and center. God intended (intends) for us to experience community… communion… koinonia… in both a human and a spiritual sense. This is what has been the purpose of our existence from the very beginning.
This is why it is so difficult to be sequestered and expected to keep social distance. This is why solitary confinement is considered such an unconscionable form of “cruel and unusual” punishment.
One “take-away” idea:
The most important idea embedded in this post is to understand how crucial it is that each one of us do what is necessary to remain engaged with one another through this unprecedented time of separateness.
If your church offers some kind of virtual worship experience, and or on-line learning, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity. If not – then at least attend ours, 10:00 each Sunday morning.
In a way this “crisis of connection” hits human beings at our most vulnerable spot. If we are to do well going forward then we must fight – fiercly and with tenacity – to hold on to one another. Because this – koinonia – is the whole point of everything.
In love, and because of love – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.