Author Topic: When it's over...  (Read 8219 times)

Norman Teigen

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When it's over...
« on: April 09, 2020, 12:05:03 PM »
It's too early to predict a time when the virus crisis will be over.  Whenever that time comes, there will be seen changes in the way that we live.  Since this venerable Forum deals with matters of faith and life, I wonder how  change will be seen here.  Will long standing trends be seen to continue or will they be seen to have ended?  Will the church grow or will it be seen to have diminished? Will there be connections between secular results and those in religious arenas?  Where can one seek to discover information on the subject.  For me, I see the communion of saints tied more tenaciously on the sources of the faith.
Norman Teigen

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2020, 01:04:48 PM »
I see opportunities in this situation. For example, our congregation has partnered with another organization to provide meals to children in our neighborhood, who normally would eat at school. We are serving about 60 children and the local community is blessing us for blessing others.

We are offering parking lot services and hearing from new people looking for some opportunity to worship.

When this is over, I'm going to say to members, "Still alive? Emmanuel will host a service thanking God for seeing us through. You need to be at that service." If you see this situation with a mission mindset, there is great opportunity. God's Law and Gospel still hold and still speak to our needs. Hosanna!
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RDPreus

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2020, 01:43:28 PM »
I got into a conversation with the chairman of our congregation yesterday and learned that he is no more in favor of shaking hands every time we meet someone than I am.  I don't understand why this custom is so firmly established among us, but one of the famous doctors on TV suggested that we stop doing so.  Fine with me.  We'll all have to imitate that famous detective, Adrian Monk. 

readselerttoo

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2020, 02:57:40 PM »
Youíll know when itís over when the fat lady sings.  Lol
« Last Edit: April 09, 2020, 07:04:31 PM by readselerttoo »

D. Engebretson

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2020, 03:16:41 PM »
When it's over we will, hopefully, realize many things we did not appreciate as much before.  I hope that our people treasure the Lord's Supper more deeply and the fellowship of faith at that altar.  I hope that they think more often of those they do not see with them in church and seek them out.  I hope we realize that the church is not easily defeated by suffering and struggles, that even when we are separated we are united, that the "gates of hell" can never prevail against Christ's church. 
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peter_speckhard

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2020, 03:41:47 PM »
When it's over we will, hopefully, realize many things we did not appreciate as much before.  I hope that our people treasure the Lord's Supper more deeply and the fellowship of faith at that altar.  I hope that they think more often of those they do not see with them in church and seek them out.  I hope we realize that the church is not easily defeated by suffering and struggles, that even when we are separated we are united, that the "gates of hell" can never prevail against Christ's church.
My goal is to see more people move from attending sometimes to attending every week. I think the total shut-down of everything will help with this, because it gives people who just sort of saw their schedules slipping away from them a chance to hit the reset button. But I don't know how it will affect outreach. 

Dave Likeness

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2020, 04:06:13 PM »
Part of the church attendance boom in the 1950's can be attributed to this factor:

When the military personnel came home from WWII, those who were Christians
wanted to thank the Lord for returning them to America safe and sound.  You do
not fight in a war and survive without gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord.

It has been said: "There are no atheists in foxholes"  So some of the military
personnel who had no time for God before WWII, definitely had time for Him
after the war.

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2020, 04:13:43 PM »
I got into a conversation with the chairman of our congregation yesterday and learned that he is no more in favor of shaking hands every time we meet someone than I am.  I don't understand why this custom is so firmly established among us, but one of the famous doctors on TV suggested that we stop doing so.  Fine with me.  We'll all have to imitate that famous detective, Adrian Monk.

"The Brooklyn, N.Y.-born Fauci, 79, who has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, then explained the potential benefits of ending what has long seemed an innocuous gesture of courtesy and friendship ó one that grew, according to one theory, from a way of conveying that neither party was carrying a weapon, according to History.com."
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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2020, 05:30:14 PM »
I got into a conversation with the chairman of our congregation yesterday and learned that he is no more in favor of shaking hands every time we meet someone than I am.  I don't understand why this custom is so firmly established among us, but one of the famous doctors on TV suggested that we stop doing so.  Fine with me.  We'll all have to imitate that famous detective, Adrian Monk.

"The Brooklyn, N.Y.-born Fauci, 79, who has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, then explained the potential benefits of ending what has long seemed an innocuous gesture of courtesy and friendship ó one that grew, according to one theory, from a way of conveying that neither party was carrying a weapon, according to History.com."


Unless one was left-handed and they failed to check for a sword on the right side. That's how Ehud was able to bring a sword in when he visited King Eglon (Judges 3:12-30).
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2020, 05:40:32 PM »

It has been said: "There are no atheists in foxholes" 

Alas, that's not true.  I've met some.

Christe eleison, Steven+
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Norman Teigen

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2020, 07:46:19 PM »
I think that there will be a renewed expression of thanks and acceptance of the men and women who are involved in church affairs.  I am grateful for my congregation and the pastoral staff.   I encourage an expression of thanks to all who work in the Lord's Kingdom. Thank you.
Norman Teigen

Eileen Smith

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2020, 08:09:19 PM »
I don't pretend to know what life will be like when we have moved past the worst of this pandemic and we resume our lives.  Difficult as it is for us this is not the first crisis this world has met.   I'm certain that plagues and wars brought change.  9/11 brought many changes to our financial world and the way we worked.  Changes in trades, settlements, off-site backup facilities grew out of this tragedy.  Yet less than a decade out from that day we were engaging in financial instruments that crashed the market and preyed on the most vulnerable.   Initially people returned to church but I'm not convinced that religious fervor lasted.  But something did remain and that is relationships.  I do believe we put more value on relationships.

I'm certain that this crisis will see changes in the business world.  Some helpful some will be harmful and, unfortunately, harmful to the most vulnerable.  I think that people are anxious to return to church, synagogue, mosque.  When we have our on-line worship people sign in with a greeting.  I see names of members that attend (maybe) once a year.  Will they return?  I'm not as convinced as some that it will be long lasting.

I pray our relationships grow stronger.  I pray that we once again shake hands, that we hug one another.  I pray that we don't let fear dictate our lives and keep us away from one another.  On this night we have a liturgy filled with touch.  The pastor places his/her hands on our head with words of absolution, feet are washed, we exchange God's peace with a handshake.  Will we change our liturgies so that on Ash Wednesday our pastors no longer place ashes on our forehead or pronounce absolution with hands on or heads?  Will we confirm children from a distance?  When God speaks in Genesis the words it is not good for humans to be alone I don't think he simply means husband and wife but each of us in the communities in which we interact - family, friends, church, work.   

I am immunosuppressed.  I'm told that I'm to stay in and my doctors prefer that I not have people in my home.  I've not held a hand, shaken a hand, hugged another person in a month.  I long for these days to be over, to get back to the business of living life fully in whatever relationships God has placed in our lives.  I long to turn to the person sitting next to me in the pew and with a handshake exchange God's peace.  Dr. Fauci may be the expert, but I pray the biggest change after this is over is that we do not live in fear. 

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2020, 08:29:10 PM »
I pray that we don't let fear dictate our lives and keep us away from one another.  On this night we have a liturgy filled with touch.  The pastor places his/her hands on our head with words of absolution, feet are washed, we exchange God's peace with a handshake.  Will we change our liturgies so that on Ash Wednesday our pastors no longer place ashes on our forehead or pronounce absolution with hands on or heads?  Will we confirm children from a distance?  When God speaks in Genesis the words it is not good for humans to be alone I don't think he simply means husband and wife but each of us in the communities in which we interact - family, friends, church, work.   

I am immunosuppressed.  I'm told that I'm to stay in and my doctors prefer that I not have people in my home.  I've not held a hand, shaken a hand, hugged another person in a month.  I long for these days to be over, to get back to the business of living life fully in whatever relationships God has placed in our lives.  I long to turn to the person sitting next to me in the pew and with a handshake exchange God's peace.  Dr. Fauci may be the expert, but I pray the biggest change after this is over is that we do not live in fear.

On the 27th of February I posted this on another discussion forum:

Quote
I am of sufficient vintage to remember the "AIDS epidemic"; as well as SARS, Ebola, and various and sundry swine flues.

With every new pestilence there are two epidemics; the virus itself and the epidemic of fear.

It is the latter which is the more destructive.

Most viruses are easily defeated with a very weak (1:100) Clorox solution.

Fear is not so easily contained.  Fear has already deprived Christians in Hong Kong of the rites associated with the beginning of Western (and soon) Orthodox Lent.   

Fear may lead to government enforced deprivation of Holy Week and Pascha on many continents.

That is what I fear the most.

Now that fear has become reality.

And it has been replaced by a new fear, that more and more Christians will accept the present conditions as a "new normal", that worship without face to face community and most importantly, without the All-holy Body and Life Giving and Precious Blood of Christ is acceptable as though it were an extended penitential exile.

I am of sufficient vintage to remember the brief resurgence of piety for a of months following 9-11-01.   

And to remember that it had evaporated before we reached the Feast of the Theophany.
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Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2020, 09:25:59 PM »
As I reminded the folks at Emmanuel, the congregation passed through the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 and two years later built our current sanctuary.

Two years from now, COVID-19 will be something we remember but it is not likely to fundamentally change the way we live. However, God's Word has that power to change people's lives. O Lord, open my lips to speak that Word.
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Norman Teigen

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Re: When it's over...
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2020, 09:16:25 AM »
What about hymn books?  Will there be hymnals in the pews or might  we be looking at a giant screen at the front of the sanctuary? Will there be anything at all in the hymn book racks?
Norman Teigen