Looking Forward: BYOC Church!

I am a fan of gallows humor, that instinct to take a bad situation and find humor in it. During this disheartening month as we’ve seen the covid numbers rise precipitously and our expectations for the fall have a correspondingly fast drop, the “My fall plans vs. The Delta variant” memes have given me a chuckle.

These memes are usually based on inside jokes about certain movies or tv shows, like this one about the Sound of Music:

Poor Baroness, she had her plans all made for Happily Ever After with Captain Von Trapp, but Maria made those plans change, didn’t she?

We had plans for the fall, that involved being inside the church building together, not understanding how much vaccine-resistance would change plans for us — and the entire world. I will confess, I had to take a moment to grieve those plans, as well as grieve the situation that has caused the delta surge.

But the truth is, those plans will be useful at another point in time. So now is the time to say, “Now what?”

As you read in your Board president’s article, we’re going to move into something new. As C.T. says, we’re proud of the wonderful online-only worship we created last year. At that time, pre-vaccine, safety was our top priority. The Board and I agree that now, we need to move the mental health and the need for in-person connection higher up the list. Most of us have experienced through last year’s drive-through events and outdoor gatherings how powerful it is for us to be together – even with masks and social distancing.

So on September 19, we move to multi-platform church. For those who feel comfortable gathering in person, we invite all vaccinated youth/adults + children (who currently are unable to get vaccinated) to mask up and BYOC — Bring Your Own Chair (or Blanket). For those not yet comfortable gathering, or unvaccinated adults, we will be livestreaming the service to our Youtube channel.

More details will be coming later as we figure out the best ways to make this a safe, accessible, and joyful experience. If you have any interest in being part of making this happen, please email me! minister@liveoakuu.org We’re going to need worship associates, camera operators, hosts for the online component, religious education teachers, and more.

So hold on to the water you’ve collected for the Homecoming service – those waters will be brought together on September 19. And what a Homecoming it will be!