There is much to grieve about our extended period of social isolation and stay-at-home orders, even while I give thanks for continued safekeeping. Still, I have to admit I've been pretty excited for the opportunity to explore creative avenues for ministry.
My guess is that the spiritual gift of creativity is often lifted up as an asset during interviews for pastoral positions - both for pastors who are sharing their creative interests, and for congregations eager to show a willingness to be in ministry "outside the box."
And yet... most any congregation that has been around for any length of time has longstanding structures, and beloved traditions, and programs to maintain... and at the end of the day, creative ministry ends up sitting on the back burner, if it remains on the stovetop at all.
This is not meant to snub traditional pastoral ministry and its incredible gifts. Preaching, teaching, pastoral care, administration, and service are all vitally important to the health of the church! But often, I've found that the need to maintain current levels of programming and preparing for that upcoming beloved tradition have the result of stymying imagination and innovation.
Enter: Social Isolation in the time of COVID-19. Suddenly, churches everywhere -- like most everyone else -- are reimagining those things that we thought certain would never change. We're finding new ways to share the Good News with the world. And... despite the exhaustion, and Zoom fatigue, and the need to care for the safety and health of our own families... creativity suddenly moves to the front burner.
I mentioned in my last post that, because Faith has livestreamed worship services for many years, we had the freedom to immediately get to work on exploring creative worship possibilities. Exercising the 'Imagination Muscles,' requires more work, not less. But... it's FUN!
Recently, Brandi and I invited the congregation to submit questions for an Ask the Pastors sermon. The questions we received were so thorough we ended up making it a three-week series. Weeks 1 and 3 take a deep dive into the questions we received most frequently (the End Times, and Hell - for those keeping track at home). This past Sunday, however, was an opportunity to answer several questions surrounding the theme of biblical interpretation.
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I'm a husband, father, news junkie, theatre lover, enneagram enthusiast, bi advocate, amateur foodie, wannabe barista, and an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
All works by Rev. TJ Remaley on this website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This blog is maintained personally by me and does not necessarily represent the views of any congregation I have served. Every effort is made to give proper attribution for quotations, images, and other media used on this page.