MidSummer Liminality – What’s Our Job To Do?

The IEI team convened a Mid-Summer Zoom gathering of faith leaders (clergy and laity) and partners to discuss what’s going on within the network.

Of course it’s hard to find a time that works for everyone, so this is an effort to share some themes from the conversation.

These are my notes and thoughts from listening to the recording. Unfortunately I had to miss participating myself. I had to attend a family funeral.

Our team shared some current and upcoming news about the BAND-NC grant, our upcoming Summer School workshops and Fall virtual gatherings, and a policy update.

Folks spent some focused time discussing “who and what we’re nurturing and taking care of” during this liminal time of living with the COVID, as well as the importance of Black Lives Mattering and the calls to action around racial equity and collective liberation.

Here are themes I heard, shared as questions…

What does it mean to be faithful to the job, vocation, and calling of being a pastor?
In that same spirit, what does it mean to be church, to be a faith community, in this time?

When we reflect on the mission critical importance of being connected and connectivity, and now – digital inclusion and distance ministry – what are some of the best ways to coordinate and do ministry in this pandemic? What strengthens community and meets real, practical needs? What’s fruitful ministry during this time?

How are you and your community getting ready and prepared for further uncertainty, transitions, heartache, stress, and challenges?
… It’s hurricane season, y’all …
What more and new tools, knowledge, and skills are necessary? How are folks strengthening their mental health and spiritual resilience?

How are folks nurturing the bravery, will, and skill to have courageous conversations about not just surviving, but thriving?
What are the life lessons, family stories, and cultural knowledge that need to be known and shared with others?

What are some of the small things we can do that make big ripples?

And to honor the passing of Congressman, civil and human rights activist, John Lewis, what “good trouble, necessary trouble” are you engaged in, or planning for the remainder of the summer (or later this year)?

Maybe if you have time, please consider sharing some of your ideas, answers, and additional good questions.

Take good care!
John Parker