Happy Summer Solstice!!

This week we’ve got a slough of resources to buoy leaders who feel dead in the water after wading through an ocean of pandemics; resources that might just help as we turn the tide – on all the different pandemic fronts: leader exhaustion, health & racism, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and climate cares. Here are some lifelines:

ONE

Take a Sunday off! Share the first installment of our Summer Worship Series any Sunday you choose – now ’til mid-September. Rev. Tyler Sit‘s sermon, Stay Awake: Answering Jesus’ Call to Show Up for Justice, is the core of this 50-minute hybrid service featuring Spoken Word from Joe Davis and The Poetic Diaspora and a sing-along led by Bret Hesla. A pdf of the full liturgy allows for local leadership infused with video elements or stream the full worship service. Member congregations simply complete this form to receive full access to all videos and the pdf.

TWO

Not sure now’s a good time to take a break? Kate Rademacher encourages Reclaiming Rest: The Promise of Sabbath, Solitude, and Stillness in a Restless World (Broadleaf), asking the question, “What if keeping the Sabbath is not only a commandment to obey, but a freedom to reclaim?”

THREE

We created the Summer Worship Series knowing that leaders are in need of support. Others are answering that call, as well:

The Upper Room invites you to sign up to receive One in Ministry, a new weekly email including a short, practical tip on a range of real-life issues such as congregational life, handling conflict, financial management, preaching, and self-care.

MennoMedia’s ~ing Podcast, Episode 40: Pastoring during the Pandemic features five pastors (including Jen Gruendler, Youth and Young Adult Minister at Zumbro Lutheran in Rochester, MN!) discussing leading, growing, and being as people of God navigating a global pandemic together.

FOUR

Since Covid isn’t the only pandemic that’s cast us a drift, the UCC’s Council for Health & Human Service Ministries developed Reason to Have Hope: A Public Health Response to Racism, a multi-part, online, interactive, and highly adaptable course to “help participants discern their calls to action” (listen to Tyler’s sermon for more tips on this!!) through group discussions based on history, current events, theology, stories of resilience, and the intersections of race and social issues.

FIVE

It is, of course, still Pride Month!! So please look into Outlove: A Queer Christian Survival Story (Broadleaf), in which Julie Rodgers offers a hopeful vision for how the church can heal from the lengthy and heated battle between Evangelical Christians and the LGBTQ community.

SIX

Creation is on our list of pandemic concerns, so we’ve collaborated with Heidi Ferris of Growing Green Hearts – along with a bunch of St Paul congregations and the Capital Region Watershed District – to pull together Wade in the Water, a highly adaptable, activity-based, experiential curriculum that blends theology, water quality, and community – getting all ages outside to Wade in the Water where you live.

There are a lot of pandemics and it feels like the waters keep rising (or not falling at all, as the case may be in Minnesota): take a deep breath, maybe even a real Sabbath, and let the lifeboat of supportive networks (including The Ministry Lab!) help you find a new shore – or at least a safe harbor.

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We’re taking our own advice and spending the week of June 28-July 5 away from the internet and the computer. We’ll be back in action on July 6. Happy 4th of July – we hope you can find some rest, as well!