Over the past few years, it has been an honor to serve as a member of our Lay Pastoral Committee. After collaborating with Matt, we created a covenant as well as an outline of our purpose and role within the fellowship. That was during the days of meeting in Lewis Hall, ages ago.
Now in our second year of Zoom services and not meeting together, the need for providing support to members and friends has grown. Isolation has increased, and several of our folks have had difficult times with their physical health as well as their emotional well-being. Joys and Concerns has provided us all with a sensibility of people’s struggles, but the picture is often larger that what we learn Sunday mornings.
Our Pastoral Team has been working overtime this Fall. A handful of people have contributed meals, transportation, and emotional support to people in need. I believe it is time to grow our committee to our larger congregation, and consider how to expand the work of the LPC to all of you, in a loving and compassionate way. In fact, I know of a few individuals not on the committee who have never stopped doing the work, simply as caring members.
I was recently reading about the term “loving kindness,” defined as a state of boundless connection. Our lives are intertwined; we are always counting on others. It is important to practice generosity. I believe it is time for the congregation to become its own Lay Pastoral Congregation, with all of us, not just a few, staying deeply connected and responding to people in need. I imagine each of you knows of one or two people in the Fellowship who are struggling. Instead of relying on the lay pastoral folks, my hope instead would be that you would reach out and help. Give a ride to the doctor. Pay a visit. Deliver a meal. Make a few phone calls….
Please consider this as we head into the dark season. I invite each of you to take this challenge. Open your hearts in deeds to fellow VIUF’ers. Ask around, be curious, check in on people you haven’t seen in a while. Make connections, boundless ones. It takes a village, not just one committee. Spread the love and keep in touch.