From the Canon to the Ordinary: Moving Forward Together

By The Rev. Canon Anita Braden, Canon to the Ordinary

Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary is the passage that keeps floating through my mind these last few days. It is a passage taken from Galatians 6:9 that seems to speak to this moment in time for many of us. So much has taken place in the last eighteen months that captured our attention both globally and nationally. These issues caused us to wonder about our morality, mortality, civic engagement, and stewardship responsibilities of the earth.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to grapple with the proper response of the Church in meeting the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of all of God’s people.

Together we have embraced technology with online worship services that reach beyond the walls of our church buildings, moved beyond being a novice by participating in Zoom gatherings, and created new methods of maintaining relationships to foster a spirit of connectedness among members. Furthermore, we responded with a generous spirit to those in need during the months of isolation from loved ones and friends.

We are emerging from the pandemic, realizing the emotional and spiritual toll these events had on our lives. Some of us have said, “this is hard work doing good in the world, but it’s vital because the mission of the Church must continue.” So, in the midst of the pandemic, with all the faithfulness we could muster, we prayed for the country and the world. We spoke of the faithfulness of God and focused on reflecting the image of Christ in all of our endeavors. Yes, these times are and remain challenging, but I am pondering the need to pause and reflect on some of the life lessons we learned. To pause and express our gratitude for one another and to offer grace to those who need to rest. To pause and determine the ministerial insights that we will carry with us into the future. Our identity as followers of Christ is awakened in a new way because of the pandemic. Collectively, I pray we will seek to become instruments of peace in a world that is prone to violence. Violence toward the earth and one another, whether that is with words or actions.

May we rise from this pandemic more robust than before and be determined to remain single-minded in reflecting the love of God. For it is truly only the love of God expressed through our hands that will break the chains of hatred, selfishness, and violence in the world.