Blog Post

Let’s Talk: About Co-Creating a New Way of Being

Conference Minister Diane Weible

I was in a webinar the other day and the presenter brought up the problem with the term “the new normal”. She said that what happens when we say “the new normal” is that people tend only to focus on the word “normal”.

We all know that getting “back to normal” is not an option after eight weeks of sheltering in place and physical distancing. And the new normal still lends itself to a belief that we want to go back to the way things were, with maybe a few tweaks here or there.

I may be going out on a limb here to assume that many of us are on the same page, but I want to invite contemplation and conversation around something much bolder: Co-Creating a New Way of Being.

Whether our days are spent looking out our windows and venturing to the edge of our property line or going out into the quiet streets to make our way to the jobs that have been “deemed essential for the minimal functioning of society,” we have a new perspective on what our society needs and what it means to be people of faith in the year 2020. When we ushered in the year 2020 on New Year’s Eve proclaiming it the year of vision, I don’t think we all expected that our lives would pause in the way they have, offering us not just a commitment to vision but the time and the space to see it from a different perspective and to consider how God is calling us to a new way of being as we move forward.

This is my invitation: Each week (maybe even twice a week), I am going to pose a question. Then, after a few days of my own contemplation about the question, I will post a video on our website (click HERE) with a few of my thoughts. I invite you to add your own reflections to the question or additional questions you have thought of. Some of the questions will be about what we have experienced personally; some will be about what we have seen or experienced as faith communities; some will be about what we envision for the future both personally and as a community; and some may just take off as Spirit moves. Each video will be just 2-3 minutes long and will end with the next question. The questions, I hope, will build on one another and on the conversation we share together.

Today’s question: What has surprised you the most about the past eight weeks?

Co-creating a new way of being is an invitation to use this experience to shape the way we live in covenant and community and the way we move into the future. Click HERE to visit the post where all of the questions and our responses will be recorded.


  • Charlie Ensley

    I have not really missed all the gatherings usually on my calendar. Sure, I’ve had to cancel or reschedule doctor’s appointments, but each month I erase the club meetings and other functions that were already on my calendar. I do miss church, but watch YouTube services from two UCC churches, one of which includes an ongoing chat during the service. That way, I still feel connected.

  • Paul Chaffee

    My biggest surprise has been that in the midst of this horror and loss there are so many silver linings. This in no way diminishes the tragedy and our need to address those most in difficulty medically, economically, and spiritually. One of the main silver linings has been a deeper level of relationship among the members of First Congo Santa Rosa. This manifests in various ways, most of them related to getting to know each other better through zoom. And I think this new process will really require more than written responses.

  • I have learned to observe every sunset, not just notice but savor, like fine art. Some of God’s best work is done at the end of the day. And I mean that on every level.

  • Patricia Wood

    I am surprised just as I was over 30 years ago that “wherever I go, here I am.” It is so easy to imagine being different in new circumstances. Yet, here I am again. Truth to be told, I am different. Saner. More present. Less hopeful of change by political process. More hopeful of change by much larger and very much smaller forces. I still love gardening (which I’m doing) and watercoloring (which I’m not, yet) and baking bread (yes, back at it). So, one tomato bush, one loaf, maybe one sketch, at a time I will move along until I pass the baton.

  • Dick Hom

    Two things have surprised me in the past 8 weeks and they seem to contradict each other. The firs is how people have stepped up to helped each other. Buying groceries for a neighbor. Helping in food banks. Calling on others they know are alone or elderly. Some of this is done among perfect strangers.
    The second is the blatant racism that some people have shown to Asian Americans blaming them for COVID-19. Records of verbal and physical assaults are at 1,500 since March 15 and growing. I must be missing something.

  • Lynn Bauer

    I love this idea, Diane — thank you!
    –And, it’s an example of one of the things that has surprised me: the amazing creativity so many people are showing in this strange new world. The pandemic itself, the enormity of how it affects us right here, as well as everywhere else in the world, continues to astonish me. I’m also amazed that technology, mainly Zoom, has become so essential to keeping us connected. This is hard, devastating for too many, but there are silver linings aplenty and the hope for lessons learned and applied in the future.

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