Well, this has all gone on much longer than anyone thought when it got started. We've all adjusted. Livestream worship. Sacraments or yoga at home. Faith community study via Zoom. And frankly, more rest and less events, which has allowed space for reflection (and/or more conversations about covid-19).
In the meantime, I'm seeing inspiring creativity on the margins of the quarantine, ways all y'all are discovering how to be a religious community in spite of (possibly even because of) the pandemic. I offer this top 10 list as a celebration of those approaches.
10.Take a Sunday drive. I grew up doing this with my grandparents. It was a chance to see how the crops were doing on the farm. Then we'd get ice cream. A retired pastor in our congregation and his wife have stopped by our house and many others Sunday afternoons just to wave and say hi. It's socially distant and iconic. What's not to love?
9.Use a handheld device or laptop to record a lo-fi song or poem. We're still just using a laptop to record our live worship Sunday mornings, and we probably will keep doing that, as a low-tech reminder that those who are watching via live stream are "there." Use that same device to participate in advocacy. Perhaps especially focus on creation care?
8.Walk a labyrinth. You can find them at multiple churches in Northwest Arkansas and also at Terra Studios. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Also add other visual reminders at your faith community. Put up a #blacklivesmatter banner, for example.
7.Bake bread or make your own wine or whatever foods are appropriate in your tradition.
6.Randomly call members of your community of faith. Or text them. Or send them a Facebook message. Interestingly, when I recently posted an opportunity to send cards to our homebound and elderly members, it was neighbors of the congregation even more than actual members who responded and said they'd do so -- especially small children drawing cards. If the kids can do it, so can you!
5.Give cash to someone. I know some of us are doing just fine right now financially while others are really struggling. So give some of that cash away. Don't just give them chicken or old clothes. Give cold, hard cash. It's the best way to help families right now.
4.Dance. Play board games. Sing. Cuddle the dog. Pet the cat. Hug a tree. Walk. Mold some clay. Paint something. Some of our artists have been very active lately, designing our banners, drawing our bulletin covers, painting murals in town. We can learn from the artists. Make something. Create.
3.Learn Koine Greek. Or Hebrew. Or Arabic. Or Sanskrit. Or take a nap. Your pick.
2.Review the Works of Mercy, think about how they can be adapted to life right now, and do one. Just one. They are:
To feed the hungry.
To give water to the thirsty.
To clothe the naked.
To shelter the homeless.
To visit the sick.
To visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive.
To bury the dead.
1.Make up your own way (because religious community functions really well when it is free and distributed) and then share that way with us, so we can inspire others.