There are a lot of things that I can tell you with great certainty.
The SEC is the most exceptional conference in college football, winning 11 of the last 20 National Championship.
The sun will rise in the East and set in the West.
Empire Strikes Back is the greatest of all the Star Wars movies.
There are 783,137 words in the Bible.
Now, if you asked me what next month is going to look like for our community, country, and the world, I would tell you, in not so certain terms, that I don't know. Do any of us know? If not all of us, most did not think we'd be in the same place we are in right now as we were in April.
Organizations, institutions, government, and individuals are all trying to figure out what the new normal looks like as they wade through the Coronavirus Pandemic's surging waters.
From a church standpoint, your ministerial staff and congregational leaders have persistently considered how we stay connected relationally, spiritually, and missionally. We continue to ponder how we can be a thriving church when we cannot all be together when we are all exhausted from online opportunities and when we are all concerned about what the coming months?
Now, more than ever, we need to turn to prayer. We need to pray specifically for God's work through UBC. We need to pray for God to lead us to successfully live out our core values by connecting, nurturing, worshiping and serving.
Together, we need to pursue openness to new possibilities and opportunities. I'll be the first to admit that canceling planned marque events and programs has been disappointing. However, I firmly believe that unique, fresh, authentic, and relevant opportunities are coming our way that will help our church be successful. They will feel, sound, and look different than what we have been accustomed, simply because some of what we have always done doesn't work through remote access and social distancing.
Collectively, we need each of us to commit to participating. Sure, there are boundless opportunities in the community, home projects to work on, new shows to stream, and other things. However, all it takes is a willingness to say yes, show up, and invite others to participate does make the difference on whether or not UBC programs and events thrive. It is incredible how your presence on a one-hour session offered by UBC can inspire others.
Honestly, we need to be okay with things failing. We are not going to get everything right. An initiative might not go as planned. But isn't it in our failure that we learn how to be better?
Your pastoral staff and congregational leaders look at the coming weeks and months with great anticipation of new opportunities for connection, formation, worship, and serving.
Will you commit to pray and participate with a posture of openness, significance, and intentionality?
Can you imagine if we looked back at this awful pandemic with thoughts of accomplishment that we did the best we could in the given circumstances to be faithful to God's calling on our lives, individually and collectively, as a faith community?
May we faithfully strive forward into uncertainty.