Pastor Pastor Bill Schnackenberg, Centralia United Methodist Church
We’ve certainly have had a lot of crisis these last few months. Now it’s time to step back and examine it. Is there any good coming from this pandemic or is it all bad?
The answer is that it depends on us. It’s our responsibility – no one else’s. So which way will we look? What do we look for? Will we focus on what we’ve lost, even temporarily? Or find the things we’ve learned and grown from? That’s the challenge we are all facing – especially the leaders in our churches. When it comes to church and faith, what is it we look for? I know that all things work together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28). So what have we learned? And what can we build on?
I’ve learned many things, including that it’s really hard to drink coffee while wearing a mask. I’ve learned that my clothes are shrinking faster than they used to. I’m learning that even old dogs like myself can eventually figure out how to use electronics and social media, although not as quickly and efficiently as someone born into Gen Z. And I’ve also learned to enjoy the sunshine when it’s not cloudy. I’ve been able to clean and declutter some things. I’ve simplified things and I’ve been able to find the most important things in life – family and relationships.
One of the breakthrough things we’ve learned is simply the realization that we can’t always do the things we’ve always done in the same way we’ve always done them. That means we have had to embrace change. Changes in our habits. Changes in our lifestyles and work. Changes in our religious and spiritual lives. And that is being driven by our need to do anything we can to stay connected with each other.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.