Resources Collected by the Commission on Thriving Congregations
Take care of yourself. This is a stressful time for everyone, and it’s forcing all of us to find new ways of living and thriving. That also means finding new ways of caring for yourself so that you can do the vital work that you’re doing. Remember…
It’s Okay to Turn Off the Newsfeed
Which includes all of the notes about ways that you might be doing church differently (which includes this!). If being inundated with all of this information makes you even more anxious, you’re not a bad pastor, elder, or person for turning it off.
…just not in crowds. Just remember to stay at least 6 feet apart, and don’t forget to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds regularly.
Maintain Sabbath…and a Routine
Put time with God and with your family or friends (from afar) or pet on the calendar. Don’t let those agenda items get deleted!
Eat, Sleep, Move, Talk to Someone
We need the first two things to survive. We need the second to care for our bodies and release endorphins. And in stressful times like these, it’s helpful to have a therapist or spiritual director or mentor to talk things over with. If you’re a pastor, you have access to 6 free sessions of therapy per issue under the Board of Pensions Emergency Assistance Program.
Pay Attention to Signs of Ill-Health, Including Depression and Anxiety
Yes, you absolutely need to watch out for symptoms of COVID 19, but you also need to watch out for the things that creep up on you…like depression and anxiety. If you think you might be struggling with one of these, talk to a healthcare provider to find the help you need.
Friends, this is a surreal time in our world, in our lives, and in our churches. Let us remember to care for one another and for ourselves. Let us remember to be creative and hopeful. Let us remember that Easter is coming, and God is with us.
And may the peace of God, which passes all understanding, guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In Christ (and don’t hesitate to reach out),
The Commission on Thriving Congregations:
Rob Smith (Central) – email@example.com
Susan Moody (St. John United) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Lowcock-Harris (1st of Howard) – email@example.com
Tim Stern (Ark and Dove) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele Ward (Brown Memorial) – email@example.com
Jennifer Barchi (Dickey Memorial) – firstname.lastname@example.org