Dear Church Family,
In preparing to write this newsletter article this month, I went back to last year to see what I said in that article. Last March, we were preparing for Lent, General Conference, and a host of events that would be taking place in the next few months. But as we all know, none of that came to fruition. In my article last April, we had not been meeting in person for three weeks at that point. Who would have imagined that it would be another two months before we were back together? Many churches still are not meeting in person after almost a year.
March 11, 2020 changed everything for us. Schools shut down. We stopped meeting in person for worship. There was no NCAA basketball tournaments. All the conference tournaments stopped after only one or two days. No one expected
it. I know we all wished we had invested a little money into an unknown company called Zoom in February last year. We would probably be rich by now. Our ministry has shifted online and through different means.
As I have said before, what we are seeing happening in the church right now is something that we would have seen five years from now. COVID-19 just pushed the timetable forward a few years. This means that we have to reassess ministry
and look at new ways of being the church. We will not do things like we have always done them. It is going to change. People have changed. I think there is an openness that perhaps was not there just a few months ago to the gospel.
We have also seen dramatic changes in our society that is not necessarily related to COVID-19 in our social and political circumstances. This changes the way we do ministry as well. How do we confront the issues of the day in a way that is compassionate but holds true to the gospel of Jesus Christ without compromise?
These are questions that we have to ask. There are some resources that we will be looking at in the next few months as well as offering opportunity for conversation about the future in our community. These are going to be important. It is important to handle race issues in a biblical way, which is very different from the way it is being handled right now in our society. We have to look at new ways to effectively be involved in our community and to know our community. I dare say that even those of us who have lived in Bailey for decades truly do not know our community because we have new people moving in all around us.
These are things that we are going to address more concretely along with ministry with other congregations. There will be much more collaboration between various churches over the next several months to make these ministries possible. Those conversations are being had right now, and in the next few weeks, we will see some tangible things come from that. I am looking forward to working together to bring hope and life to so many in southern Nash and western Wilson counties.
This is truly an exciting time in Bailey. We will see more and more ways to be effective in reaching out with the gospel that will bring new life and prosperity to the area.