Pastors and Church Leaders – ABC of Maine Update

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Pastors and Church Leaders – ABC of Maine Update

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This post is shared as a COVID-19 resource on our resource page at www.abc-usa.org/coronavirus. Visit this page to find helpful resources and information, and see regular updates from American Baptist regions and national partners.

April 27, 2020

Dear Pastor and Church Leaders,

For many of us, this “stay at home” period has been work intensive.  Pastors and Church Leaders indicate that the learning curve to stay connected with the congregation through new technologies is intense.  The gaps created by the use of technology among congregation members forces Pastors and Church Leaders to constantly evaluate connectivity and make necessary adjustments.  Is the congregation as a whole being ministered to through current communication channels? Adapting to a variety of different communication strategies and the effort required to stay connected is exhausting.  We are busy.

I worry about busy.  Busy can distract us from what God is doing in this time.  As Pastors and Church Leaders, we can spend so much time on the trees that we can’t see the forest.  While Jeff Woods was with us, he advocated for the importance of finding time to talk about “What is God doing?”  What are the spiritual lessons to be learned from COVID-19?  What am I being challenged by God to be, to do, to learn, to grow during this “stay at home” season?  I hope that you’re making time for prayerful reflection and discernment.

While we are still so close to the pandemic, it is a good time to begin a conversation.  What is God doing?  What am I learning?  What is my congregation discovering?  What conversations have I had with congregation members that gave me an “ah ha” moment? What can be left behind as I prepare for reopening?  What are “holy hunches” I have about what our congregation must do when our physical location reopens?

In preparation for this week’s Zoom Meeting, please take time to read the ABCOM Reopening Conversation Guide for Local Churches, and Jeff Johnson’s April Newsletter. I’ve also included the following links for your reflection:  7 Lessons for Singapore’s Church. Love in the Time of Coronavirus, and Things not lost to COVID -19

Psalm 63:1-8

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
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Coronavirus COVID – 19 Zoom Meeting
Thursday Evening, April 30, 2020 7:00 pm
A Church Leader Conversation 
On Thursday evening, April 30th, we will hold our next Zoom Meeting.  I invite you to join in an online conversation.  I believe that it is time to think proactively about our future ministry.

I look forward to being with you for this unique meeting.  Please be in prayer during this trying season for your local church, the churches of your association and for the American Baptist Churches of Maine and ABCUSA.  We have an opportunity to make a difference in our communities for Christ.

Topic: Preparation for Reopening After COVID-19
Time: Apr 30, 2020 07:00 PM (GMT -5:00)

Join the ministrElife Meeting here:
https://ministrelife.zoom.us/j/6240881018

If you wish to enter this meeting by phone, please call +1 (669)9006833, and use meeting ID 6240881018

Last week, ABCUSA’s Acting General Secretary, Jeff Woods, presented our last Zoom meeting. If you would like to hear that conversation, please use the following link:

https://ministrelife.zoom.us/rec/share/y9cpdbH-yF1ObIXhyFDHf4QmJqvseaa8gXVN__oKnx1WiT_PmbDGi7flOCIbVMAb   (Access Password: 9R$s+3Ur)

You’ll also need to have the accompanying documents for that conversation: ABCOM Reopening Conversation Guide for Local ChurchesJeff Johnson’s April Newsletter and Church Leader Reflection Questions

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Thank you to those pastors/church leaders who filled out our request form, Coronavirus COVID -19 Church Response.  If you haven’t filled out this form, please do so.  The responses to this survey are on our website,  ABCOM.org.

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ABCOM’s Website, ABCOM.org, continues to list resources for pastors and congregations.  These resources continue to grow.  As needs change concerning the Coronavirus COVID 19, the resources to meet those changes change as well.  The resources that are needed are updated regularly on the resource list.  If you have other needs that are not addressed on this resource list, please let me know.  The list remains active and new entries are added frequently: Resources for Churches and Church Leaders