A community church in North Andover, Massachusetts

Out Of My Mind – May 2020

In times of tumult, we want to encourage each other, and to pray with and for each other, even if we cannot be together physically. As suggested earlier: write, e-mail, phone other members of the church and please contact me in need. Stay in touch.

I am writing the Tuesday before Easter, so things may be changed a little or a lot by the time you read this, and almost certainly by the end of May. With that in mind, there are a few matters you might find interesting.

First, as most with computer connection capability already know, we have a “Go to Meeting” site available for the church. The first Sunday “service” will be / was Easter. A new experience for many of us, to be sure.

It’s more than a little ironic historically that we now “go to meeting.” The Pilgrims landed in Mass. Bay in 1620 and the Puritan Congregationalists at Shawmut Peninsula 10 years later. Both groups never referred to the building as “the church,” but as “the meeting house.” And they would never say, “going to church,” but rather “going to meeting.” And here we are 400 years later doing the same.

Second, and somewhat in the same vein, various boards and committees are also holding remote “meetings.” The Deacons are contacting members by phone as they are able, to stay in touch and keep tabs on needs that may arise. Also staying in touch with each other via conference calls.

The Trustees have a system regular e-mails and phone calls to work together. They have been using the building vacancy to sanitize, repaint and repair what needs to be done so that when we can gather there again, it will be ready and safe.

As I write, the Council and the Search Committee have not yet planned “meetings” but as the new reality of remote conversations becomes even more common, they will surely take it up. Check the Open Door for reports of any other boards or committees and what they may be planning.

“Planning.” That’s our question. Until our civil and medical leaders get a handle on the virus and an effective response to it, we’ll have no choice but to go with the flow. The Children of Israel were in the desert for 40 years, depending on God for everything, and we’re really no different. But we can keep praying that our time in the desert will be a lot shorter.

Peace, Pastor Rob Branch