By Doug Talley
The COVID-19 crisis has met its limit for causing disruption. It can’t touch the resurrection of Jesus! And I for one am so thankful that it cannot. In some ways it is appropriate for Easter to fall during the lockdown and shelter-at-home order as it reminds us of God’s power and involvement in our world and our lives. The hope of Easter is powerful and relevant no matter what!
Several weeks ago Cindy asked me if I realized how often I was using the word “unprecedented”? My response was that I was using it intentionally because none of us have a reference point for how this virus is disrupting pretty much every facet of our lives. This is unchartered territory, and we are all operating at the trial and error level and trying to figure it out as we go.
I’m glad to see that the term “social distancing” is starting to be challenged as an inaccurate way to describe what we need to be doing. It is actually harmful at many levels. A better term is “physical distancing.” The former is putting distance in our relationships and the latter refers to geographical distance. We do need to maintain the physical separation, but we cannot afford to be socially distanced or socially isolated … especially not right now. We are blessed to have easy access digital tools to keep us connected relationally. If this is hard, can you imagine how difficult physical distancing would have been 25-30 years ago?
Since this crisis has emerged, I’m finding that my connection time with God is even more important than before. I’ve extended my quiet time with God on most mornings as I realize having a non-anxious presence and being emotionally self-differentiated during a crisis is not likely to happen unless the beginning of my day is immersed in God’s presence. Back in early March I developed a “COVID Crisis Prayer List” that I pray through each and every morning. It includes things like: global revival, pastor’s kids who lost interest in God being wooed back by the Holy Spirit, various groups of people (like Indiana pastors and churches, frontline workers & health professionals, my family practice doctor, those infected & their families, those working on a vaccine, economic resilience, etc.), and Holy Spirit power to lead well and be a non-anxious presence. Connection with God is always vitally important, especially when crisis threatens to hijack our emotions, our time, and our focus.
During this crisis, Indiana Ministries is endeavoring to limit the noise you are exposed to. We realize you are investing a lot of time and energy supporting and caring for your families and your churches. We want to stay connected with you and share relevant and helpful information. We do not want to overload your inbox. There is no way we can keep up with all emails telling me about all the webinars being offered, the resources being presented for our consideration, and the products being offered for purchase. So other than key information we believe you want and need, we are limiting how much we send. But if you need us, don’t hesitate to call or email.
The next article in this edition of E-News is written by Tom Plank, Indiana Ministries’ Multiplication Director and Chief Catalyst for Healthy Growing Churches. I hope you will make time to read it because it provides needed perspective for the current crisis and helps point the way forward.
Once again, if you need us, please call or email. Though we don’t want to add to the noise you are experiencing, neither do we want to leave you unsupported. We are in this together!