The Gift of Presence
For nearly two weeks, those of us in the Saint Paul Area Synod have been blessed by the presence of ou[...]
My midwife repeated these words over and over, her arm gently resting on my forearm. With each contraction, reminding me to keep vigil of the present.
It was our first child. We were full of excitement, intrigue, fear, anxiety. The future was rich with opportunity, it was also scary as hell. Were we up for it? Did we have the energy? How were we ever going to make it? Kids are expensive! Life is unpredictable. We are in over our heads…
Like new parents, we have a part in birthing something new in the church right now. We don’t know what it’s going to look like (we hardly know what it looks like now!). We see glimpses of opportunity, of God charting a new path. At the same time, we are filled with fear, uncertainty, trepidation. As leaders we wonder if we have what it takes.
As congregations we ask similar questions. Can we afford to pay the salaries and benefits for staff? Can we manage that mortgage payment? Can we keep the doors open? Are we going to make it? Can we weather the storm?
The months ahead will be financially challenging for many of our congregations. They will be difficult for us as leaders. But together, we are invited to step up the challenge, to foster continued generosity, and to be a witness to whatever God is birthing.
Here are some tools to help encourage generosity during COVID-19:
Don’t rush to anxiety or worry or angst. God’s got this. God’s in it. And God is faithful far beyond our wildest imagination. This is God’s church after all. We are called to steward the gifts in this particular time and place, while God labors to bring about resurrection in the midst of death.
Rev. Taryn Montgomery
Chisago Lake Lutheran Church, Center City