Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Church, But Don't Touch?

I saw a frog on the walking trail last night, but not before I scared him. He was hopping away before I could get a good look. I went back to walking, and thinking—wondering about when and how we'll return to church.

Maybe your church sent out a survey like the one we had last week. The question boiled down to something like:

Are you . . .
  • ready to come back
  • ready to come back but not touch anybody
  • not ready to come back
I posed the question a little differently to our Sunday school class. I asked whether folks would rather return sooner, but with restrictions, or return later without restrictions.

Our opinions will not affect policy, but I wanted to give everyone a chance to share what they were thinking. I didn't actually count, but I think the responses were roughly, six for returning later, five for returning sooner.

Our teacher commented that we're going to have restrictions regardless, whether it's sooner or later. That was more realism than I bargained for.

When I imagine going back to church, I have two pictures in mind—inspired by the survey questions. The first picture has families spread out across the sanctuary, with lots of space between the little groups. But, we're still in one room; singing together. That picture seems pretty good right now.

The other picture is one-way pedestrian traffic at the entrances. I don't like that picture. It strikes me as dystopian. But, if that's how we need to come into the building to make the first picture reality, well—we do what we gotta do.

One day—at least in theory—we'll settle into some new normal. The question is how close the new church normal will be to the old church normal. Who can say? I hope it involves social nearing as soon as possible. I hope we're able to get at least as close to each other as I got to this guy.

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