Task Force, Assemble!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking to folks on the phone, in Zoom meetings, via sermons, etc. about what First Lutheran might be called to in this current age of Covid and beyond. Being on “lockdown” has been “convenient” in the sense that it took away what we had come to view as normal and everyday, and it has forced us into some introspection and maybe even a little bit of free fall. It absolutely sucks not to be able to see one another face-to-face each Sunday, and it’s only that much worse when we need to grieve together communally. But the silver lining bit is that it seems like a good time to be re-thinking everything.

We know that when we come back, it won’t look the same. We’ll have physical distancing to contend with. Fellowship time around the tables with a hot cup of bad coffee simply isn’t safe … and won’t be in the near future. Communion will look entirely different from Sundays in the past. No passing of the peace. No hugs. Ugh!

That’s just the way stuff is going. We need to find a new (or revive an old) way of being church in and for the world.

To that end, The Core Council and I have begun to assemble a Long-Range Planning Task Force. We could have called it an ad hoc committee, because that’s what it is, but that sounds super boring. So “Task Force” it is!

We have four people serving on it at the moment: Mary Jane, Beth, Nicole, and Bob. I’m a member of the TF by virtue of my position, and I’ll be helping to steer some of the conversation, but really this is the congregation’s task force, so it’s important for the people of First to be in the driver’s seat. We’re looking for two or three more members. Even if you aren’t ON the TF, though, you will be part of it, as consultants and stake holders.

What are they going to be doing? Praying, for one thing. Thinking biblically/theologically about what a church actually IS. They’ll be looking at what traditions and values that are currently in place ought to remain in place, and advising the Core Council (and the congregation) about what we may need to strongly reconsider. They will be dreaming and envisioning how we can best muster our resources (which includes primarily the people and their giftedness, but also financial resources and liabilities) for ministry between and beyond the sanctuary walls.

I will work to keep you updated on things as the discussion rolls out. The TF will hold their first meeting this week or next. As always, it’s an exciting time to be the church! Stay tuned!

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