I must admit that I have long had mixed feelings about Rally Day, the somewhat arbitrary church holiday that celebrates a congregation’s return to fall programing—scheduled for next Sunday, September 13. Part of it is that I’ve never understood what exactly the “rally” is in Rally Day. A race? A campaign-type event? A surge or uptick after a time of slump? (Which of these corresponds to the fall return of Sunday School?)
Part of it has to do with my frustration about the ongoing need to point out that Church isn’t closed during the summer. That while the pace is indeed different, worship, learning, community-building and outreach continue for all twelve months of the year. Why do we celebrate returning to church when (under normal circumstances, anyway) we haven’t been away?
Of course, it goes without saying that this year is different. This year we have been closed—the building at least!—not just for the summer but for three full months before. This year, we have longed for and planned for and wondered out loud about what it will be like to be gathered together again. This year, I could practically imagine all three kinds of rally—racing towards a big event, surging again after a prolonged downtime.
Sadly, it is not yet to be this Rally Day.
As we continue to care for one another—and especially for the most vulnerable in our congregation and community—we still need to stay put, stand apart, mask up, and wash our hand frequently, ever vigilant in doing our part to stop the spread of Covid-19. At the same time, we are excited about some of the new opportunities we have to be in ministry together despite the unique nature of the times:
- Online worship will continue weekly, with occasional “Drive-in Services” while weather permits (next Sunday, September 13th will be our next Drive-in Service!).
- Opportunities to gather virtually for Bible study, book discussions, and other faith-deepening activities will crop up from time to time.
- Activities for children, youth, and families will be available either via zoom or physically distanced outdoors, including Family Faith Walks, Breakfast Club, and Confirmation.
- Home-Grown Worship will allow for smaller groups among us to gather (outdoors to begin with, masked, and distanced as appropriate) for times of prayer and deeper connection. Pilot groups are experimenting with this right now, and new groups will be formed in the coming month).
- We continue to connect and care for one another as a beloved community, making phone calls, sending emails, and writing notes to others we’ve been missing.
We may be apart for now, but we are together for good!