Have you ever been sitting at your desk, attempting to come up with metaphors that describe your current reality and realized that every single image dates you as a late 50’s-something white female from New York State?
The metaphors I’m working with are “broken record” or a reference to the film “Groundhog Day”. Lather, rinse, repeat? In other words: I’m on continual repeat.
The CDC has just recommended the use of masks outdoors for all folks in crowds – vaccinated and not. The Delta variant is a wicked thing that offers a viral load far higher than the previous variants, which correlates with increased spread of the virus. In other words: it’s time (again) to increase precautions. Vaccinate. Mitigate.
Each Session will decide the best course for the congregation they serve based on attendance, space, and risk tolerance, but ultimately each Session will make their decision on shared values. In other words: cue the sound of a broken record.
Values are those principles that an organization abides by. There are the aspirational values (what we hope we are), the perceived values (what others see) as well as the core values that form the foundation of all that we do. When a crisis hits, it’s the core values that are exposed.
We see this in individuals all the time – this is the firefighter who runs toward the flame; the shop worker who spends additional energy to make sure the shelves are perfectly straightened; the wait staff who seem genuinely interested in serving. Of course, the reverse is also true. There are folks who are in positions and vocations where their values are not in alignment with the work they do (and someone is always miserable when that happens).
When there is a crisis (for instance, a global pandemic) an organization’s actual values are on display for the world to see. For churches there is the additional challenge of developing and supporting values that are in alignment with those of scripture.
What values are guiding your decisions regarding the continuing COVID crisis? Are they resonant with the Good News? How are you communicating those values with those within your community… as well as outside the church walls? In other words: Are you who you say you are?