Minister’s Report ~ 2020
What a crazy year, right?!?!?!?!
We came into the year with excitement and anticipation of what the coming year would bring. Then March hit with both a COVID-19 global pandemic, and my Mother’s diagnosis that her eye cancer had metastasized to her liver!!
And it has been a struggle ever since!
We have had to re-boot our worship several times, going to all online worship right before Easter (although the dramatic change encouraged my creativity and we did some cool online stuff during Holy Week). It seemed so strange to not have a “full house” in the sanctuary—to the contrary, the sanctuary was empty.
I would like to thank our leadership as well as the entire congregation for their acceptance of our COVID responses. It was truly a gift to be able to be with my Mother as she rapidly declined and passed away in June. That would never have been possible if we weren’t already stuck at home in practically a country-wide shut down. I even heard folks say that it was kind of fun, particularly the weeks that I had an alligator in the pond behind me!
We kept on going until the end of August when it occurred to us that we could, possibly, worship outside (where it was easier to socially distance ourselves). The City of Manitou Springs happily agreed to us using the beautiful grove of trees in Fields Park and so until it started getting too cold at the end of October, we enjoyed being “together” (at least those that could). It was a very uplifting time and we had a great following, adding two new members because of it!!
We tried taking the worship team back to the Sanctuary, but COVID came back with a vengeance and so we’ve been back online (from our living room) ever since. I deeply appreciate all the grace, especially when Loki, Chance, or Fancy decide they want to be center-stage!
I could never have survived this year without the critical and seemingly endless help from my husband, Rev. Glenn, and my daughter, Robyn Firth!!!!! They have worked countless hours, Glenn volunteering as our Administrator and Robyn as our Worship Tech working fervently but mostly unseen every week! Please thank them as well some time when you are talking with them or see them somewhere.
The year culminated with knowing that we were facing another high-holy day without a congregation in worship together, Christmas Eve. I felt like that worship, moreso than any other time, needed to be experiential.
Glenn felt like the city needed some events because it had been forced to cancel just about every celebration this year.
So, we talked with the City and the Library and decided to do a short
“Readings and Carols” candlelight worship at 5:30. It was a HUGE success, with tons of great feedback from regular church folks as well as many comments from the community! Among others, the City Administrator wants us to consider doing it again next year!
As we move into a new year, new president, new world, I am once again excited and full of anticipation for the coming year. We will still have to deal with online worship and zoom meetings/bible studies, but we are also beginning some intentional work on studying 21stCentury Church and focusing on our mission, vision, and purpose via the new Steering Team. Once we get that completed
I think we will experience a cascade of great things happening in our church!!
May God bless you and keep you, this day and every day!
Rev. Gaye Bosley-Mitchell,