Connect. Connect the dots? Connect with new people through Meet Up groups? Connect through writing? Connecting in a COVID world? Teachers trying to connect with students virtually? Parents trying to connect with their teen-aged children? So many thoughts race through my head based on the word prompt, CONNECT. I can imagine that many other thoughts and images emerge in yours.
Connection has become a very important concern for churches whose very meaning is the assembly. How can you be the assembly of faith working together, sharing and encouraging each other, having a connection with each other when gathering together may spread an illness which can be fatal? Connection also has added meaning for me in this past year due to moving to a new place with different priorities on my time and great uncertainty of how I would be working in these new circumstances.
My impulse is to jump in and just start doing which is exactly what I did when I moved last year. But, in many ways, the connections I was used to weren’t accessible to me or weren’t practical. It was time to create new ways to connect. The surprising impact of the Corona Virus Quarantine has been that it has opened up some of the new ways I had been looking for. First of all, the Regional Church I’m affiliated with, began weekly prayer gatherings on Zoom. I had been visiting different churches since moving, but didn’t have a church close to where I am living. The zoom prayer gatherings allowed me to get to know people of faith who were supportive and open and uplifting. I was amazed at how connected I felt in this virtual setting. Then I began to worship through Facebook Live with churches from all over, which offered new experiences and connections with diverse groups of people. The Courts began holding hearings using Zoom. It has been a challenge at times, but it has opened the doors for more people to be present for their hearings. I also attended a birthday party on Zoom and have officiated at several weddings which were live-streamed for those unable to be present in person.
These new experiences of connection through the internet have led me to explore the dream of beginning an online ministry to bring people together in a supportive and prayerful community experiencing the living love of God. So far, I’m calling it “Fully United in Living Love – Wherever, Whenever, Whomever” “FULL – WWW.”
This summer has brought challenges with our phone service and internet service. This morning, we started with another internet service, which I am hoping will work out so that I can stay connected and launch this ministry. I continue to appreciate your prayers and support. Connection is so important! Thank you and blessings in your connection with God and others!