Mar 16, 2023

“Before the pandemic, we had thirteen people in the choir,” the pastor tells me, while the moderator explains that it was a three octave bell choir made up of both adults, who all saw eye to eye, and youth, who never missed a rehearsal. But that’s nothing compared to the same choir as described by the church historian who adds that there was also a vocal choir whose large tenor section all had masters degrees in musical performance, perfect pitch and halos, because it wasn’t actually a human choir but an elite ensemble of harp playing angels.

Nostalgia is an unreliable narrator. The more time that passes between now and the glory days, the better that old church choir sounds. Same goes for the couples clubs who met for monthly dinners, the booming youth group, or the last live worship service before the shut down in 2020, that seemed so ordinary and lightly attended at the time but now gets bigger and better in the rear view mirror.

Over the last nine months, I’ve worshiped and preached at 45 church services in the Michigan Conference and in a spirit of humility, I do have a few observations. I recognize that year three of whatever we are going through feels harder than year one or two. For this reason, I am leading a clergy retreat with serious scholarships (use code MI 1/2) and we are holding a workshop on trauma for our leaders.  Read More

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