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Not closed, but deployed

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Re-thinking the mission of the congregation during public isolation

 Have you taken the time to re-think what “church” means during this time of a public isolation?

If church is not meeting on Sunday mornings, then what is church? Furthermore, what is the mission of the congregation?

Our mission statement reads:

“Clairemont Lutheran Church/Iglesia Luterana Clairemont is a community of faith united in Word and Sacrament, building faith by inviting, welcoming, forgiving, accepting, helping, and praying for all of God’s people.”

How has the congregation lived up to this mission?

Despite the ban on large public gatherings, we have continued to offer the Word online on Sunday mornings and we hope that your life groups have found ways to keep connected as well. We have also continued to offer Drive-Thru communion as a way to keep our community in Christ connected to the sacrament. We have also continued our food distribution ministries to serve our neighbors.

But what about building faith? How are we doing that now, and how will we do this going forward? We can do this by inviting others to view our online worship by sharing the videos over Social Media. We can call others and pray with them. We can offer a sign of God’s peace to our neighbors and to those we may see at the grocery or drug store. We can help a neighbor who is having difficulty during this time. These are just some of the ways we can be inviting, welcoming, helping and praying.

For years Christian congregations have faced declining attendance and participation. Some have permanently closed their doors. One reason is that society has changed. Church is no longer the place to celebrate and mark life passages. People stopped coming to the church campus.

Now that most people aren’t going anywhere, we have an opportunity to re-think our mission outside of being a physical location in a neighborhood. We can instead think of it this way:

The church is not closed, it’s deployed.

I invite you to prayerfully consider how you can play an active role in the deployed church of Christ, both now and well into the future.