Conference Minister Diane Weible
If I did my math right, we are in our seventh week of Shelter in Place. And, many of us have just received notice that the Order has been extended through the end of May.
We are anxious for this order to end even as we know that staying home and following the order is crucial to the health and well-being of everyone.
I have said that I believe every person experiences this pandemic in a different way. There may be common emotions of grief, anxiety, fear, concern, exhaustion. We experience these emotions within our particular context. Some people live alone or with one other person; some have a household full of family members; some continue to work and some cannot; some have been laid off and some have had to shut down their businesses. Some are living apart from their families because their job has put them at high risk for becoming infected and some are worried about family members they cannot visit.
The one thing I know without a doubt is that our faith communities continue to support one another and their neighbors, whatever their context and through all the emotions—meeting them where they are and ascertaining their needs so they can best help. I hear story after story of the important work that is happening in our faith communities and in our neighborhoods. I see the newsletters and the announcements calling on people to help and I am in awe at the creative and incredible ways that people have responded. I have attended many different worship services and have left everyone feeling God’s love and presence in meaningful ways.
Your NCNC staff continues to look for opportunities to support pastors and church leaders in whatever ways you most need. In particular, there are several opportunities we want to make sure you know about (and additional details about all of these programs are posted in this week’s newsletter as well):
- NCNCUCC has partnered with The Cornerstone Fund to offer low-interest loans of up to $15,000 to churches. These loans are for churches that need a little help getting through these next several months, providing low-interest and a generous repayment plan over the next 12 months.
- Our Support Session program for clergy and lay leaders continues. Recordings of our first few sessions are available on our website and additional sessions are posted HERE. If you have particular topics you would like to see addressed, please send me an email.
- Beginning, Tuesday, May 5, 3 p.m., we invite you to spend 15 minutes with us for a time of inviting Spirit in. One of our chaplains, Rev. T’Shala Auroralaia, will move us through a spiritual practice each week to quiet our hearts and minds and provide a much-needed break to our crazy schedules during this time of COVID-19. Click HERE to join.
- Conference staff has been calling, emailing and offering online presence to our clergy to check in and see how we can best be supportive. In addition, I am available every week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. just to talk. I call it my Conference Minister Coffee Hour. Feel free to bring your coffee or tea and join me for conversation and sharing by clicking HERE. And, of course, if you want to talk to any one of us, just send us an email or pick up the phone. We would love to support you in this time.