To date, there have been over 1,000 xenophobia related hate crimes against our Asian sisters and brothers. I watched a video of a woman on the bus being told violently to go back to China. I thought, that is someone’s mother, grandmother, friend, spouse. We must do better. We must hold our friends facing these acts of inhumanity in light. We must be better allies. There are times when we have shown up mightily and united in the face of adversity. We can do that again. We are in uncertain times and the aftermath will last for years to come.
What if Christians saw actions like social distancing and canceled large gatherings not as inconveniences for our individual personal survival but as collective loving of our neighbors together – even while apart? Part of the problem of modern American Christianity is that we have so bought into the myth of hyperindividualism that we don’t understand working as a collective or serving in solidarity as part of faith, ironic considering the literal collective-solidarity images like the body of Christ with many members or many branches rooted in the one vine of Christ.
Category: COVID-19 Resources
In response to the world-disrupting COVID-19 pandemic, NEXT Church has been working hard to offer useful resources for faith leaders and their communities. We’ll be offering a special Facebook Live conversation as part of our Cultivated Ministry program called “5 Reasons to Assess, Even When Nothing is Normal.” These resources also include blog posts reflecting on the pandemic and offering tips for virtual meetings and worship. You can find more information below.
5 Reasons to Assess, Even When Nothing is Normal
Cultivated Ministry Live Conversation
Evaluation and assessment of ministry is probably the last thing on your mind right now. You’ve already got enough on your plate figuring out how to be church when our usual ways of gathering are disrupted, crises in our communities are more acute than ever, and the pastoral care needs are growing. We’re with you. And we think this is the exactly right time to pay attention to assessing our ministry to deepen and enhance the work we are doing. Join us for a conversation about why assessing ministry right now may actually provide some solid grounding in a tumultuous season.
Who: Church Leaders interested in the meaning and impact of their work.
What: Live conversation between Shavon Starling Louis (pastor) and Jessica Tate (NEXT Church Director) about using Cultivated Ministry, even when we are wading through a global pandemic.
When: May 7, 2-2:45pm eastern
Where: Facebook Live, via the NEXT Church Facebook page
You can learn more about Cultivated Ministry here.
Thanks to the Presbyterian Foundation for sponsoring the development of this resource.
Surviving and Thriving: Adaptive Leadership Learning Communities
An Opportunity for Church Leaders
A joint effort by NEXT Church and MaryAnn McKibben Dana
When: Six Weeks, beginning Thursday, May 14, 2-3:30pm eastern / 11am-12:30pm pacific; 2nd and 4th Thursdays
Who: Church leaders. 6-9 participants to maximize learning, interaction, and accountability.
How much: $300 registration fee. Be in touch with Jessica Tate if cost is a barrier.
“Everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new.”
All of us are learning what life looks like as we worship and serve during a global pandemic. Already we are wondering what of this new way of being we will take with us into a faithful and creative future as the pandemic subsides.
How can we avoid the pitfalls of going back to “normal”? How will we do this work sustainably, exercising care and kindness toward ourselves and others? How do we — as the church — move from survival mode to one of thriving, even as the situation around us is devastatingly challenging?
MaryAnn McKibben Dana, a pastor, speaker, and Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, is facilitating group coaching cohorts to engage these and related questions. We will work with tools of adaptive leadership, design thinking, and improvisation. Participants will learn from one another, develop individual goals and plans, and support one another in a spirit of accountability.