Family Ministries—Building a “New Normal” for the Future – May 2020

From Lily Rappaport,  Developmental Director of Family Ministries

In his book, Presence, organization development consultant Otto Scharmer talks about the future as an energy of its own that we do not control. We can only seek to understand it as it emerges. Scharmer discusses the need for letting go and letting come, so that the future that’s seeking to emerge from our organizations can find the path to come to fruition. During this time of COVID-19 we have had to let go of the past ways of doing church and invite new ways of being a church community. Changes we are experiencing now are helping us to build “a new normal” for the future. 

One idea that is becoming more acceptable is that church can be anywhere. It is less about the physical space and more about how we connect. We have reshaped not only how we engage in worshipful experiences; but who can access these experiences and when they are able to experience them.  Offerings like Zoom covenant circles, live streaming services could eventually become “normal” access points for congregational connection or individual spiritual practice.  A new flexibility has been introduced – worship is not necessarily tied to a particular place and time.  

Another change is that religious education offerings for children and youth are not occurring at the same time as the worship service. This opens up the possibility for children and youth to watch the service with their family, viewing worship as a family experience and education offerings as one too.

All in all, within the current challenges we face, are the opportunities for us to learn new ways of being connected, new skills to navigate into the future, and new ways of engagement.