Deans' Note October 3, 2021

This Sunday marks a return to a new program year getting back to a fuller schedule -- something that hasn't happened since the fall of 2019. That doesn't mean that everything will simply go back into place where we left off. Of course we are not over the pandemic as yet, but more importantly we have the opportunity to rethink some things that we took for granted or were simply habits. We've already noted that Zoom has become a regular part of our lives and a great way to have monthly Vestry meetings. Christian Education via a hybrid model allows us to connect with presenters far and wide. What we will continue to think about is how the way we do our services welcomes those who aren't in person? How does our liturgy "translate" to a video medium// What is lost when we aren't together in the flesh?

As we move back to a more robust schedule, we still need to consider who is coming back in person or continuing online. How do we reach out to people who have come to St. John's virtually and welcome them in person? Have some people fallen away who were here before? Many congregations are experiencing a decrease in the number of people attending physically. Why is that?

In some ways the pandemic became our new normal. Now that we are emerging on the other side we are faced with challenges about what the future will look like. Maybe you are rethinking your own life. Do you want to go back to what life was like before or is this the opportunity to reimagine to redetermine your priorities for work and life. These will be uncertain times, but I hope creative energy will emerge in the midst of them.

In the days ahead, as we celebrate the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels this Sunday, let's invite God's angels to protect us from all harm and from the temptations to shrink back from stepping out into the future and explore the possibilities emerging in our lives with courageous creativity. The Holy Spirit will guide us and inspire us if we allow ourselves to discern possibilities we had never thought of. We encourage you to come join us in person this Sunday as we welcome one another back to a new program year and together seek what new things God has in store for each and all of us.