Dove's Nest Blog
It was the twelfth week of Zoom worship services at First Mennonite Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. The pandemic had put a stop to all in-person church activities, and the congregation was getting restless. Zoom had its many benefits: We could safely “see” each other and share in real time. We could sing (while muted) with the musicians, make announcements, and listen to the sermon. We also introduced a new element of the service called “spotlighting.” As one of our musicians played, each participant’s screen would be showcased for a few seconds. The spotlighted people would wave and smile, and we would all enjoy seeing everyone in the congregation, however briefly.
Gracious God, we petition you from a world in dire need of your grace and peace.
Our children need our continuing protection amidst the death-dealing conditions of a coronavirus pandemic and racial discrimination.
We cry out in lament for the impacts of this uncertain time on our children—rhythms of school and play are disrupted; customs and rituals are curtailed and circumscribed; familiar routines have dropped into uncertainty.
So that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. —Ephesians 3:10
Prior to the racial justice uprising this summer, a group at my church read Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey. I am learning that, by default, many of us who are white are raised to be colorblind. We are told to not notice differences. “Oh, we’re all the same on the inside,” white children hear from adults, in books, and in movies. This attitude is not compassionate. Racism thrives when white people do not address it in their families and communities.
In March, as houses of worship were responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, my congregation scrambled to discover ways to worship without gathering in person. We hoped that the entire worshipping community would experience a smooth transition from worship in the sanctuary to worship at home. For adults, we trust that worship will feel right through the familiar weave of music, prayer, scripture, and sermon. But for children?
Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.
New Online Sermon Resource!
Creating Safety for Children and Vulnerable Adults
Bring a Dove's Nest speaker to your faith
community—virtually! In this time when so many churches are meeting online, Dove's Nest is
excited to be able to offer a new sermon / short training resource.