What’s Been Uniquely Challenging?

by The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell

Dear People of Ascension,

Bishop Andrew DietscheI commend to you the meditation for the 6th week of Easter from our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Andrew Dietsche, which you can listen to here. It’s really a meditation about the Ascension and the ten days between Jesus’ ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, so it has special resonance for us at the Church of the Ascension. It’s a reflection on such Ascensiontide themes as the space between what has been and what will be, waiting and living with not knowing, and the dawning realization that, despite our grief, we cannot and in fact do not want to return to what was before. That sounds remarkably timely, doesn’t it?

Bishop Dietsche articulates some things that I have been pondering as well, about which I would love to hear your thoughts. What has been uniquely challenging for you in this time of pandemic and pause? What have been the unexpected gifts, if any? What about our worship and community life in this time should we take with us into the future as we return, eventually and gradually, to meeting in person? What are you grieving, and how must we be faithful to our grief? Every pandemic, every crisis, changes ​what comes after it. How are we being changed by what we have lived through? What are we urgently called to change, in our personal lives and relationships, our church, our city, our world?

Most important, how and where is God calling you- calling us, the Church of the Ascension- to share Christ’s love in the power of the Spirit? What will our mission be in the time ahead?

Let us ponder these questions in prayer, and in conversation together. May we know the comfort, strength and guidance of our God, who has promised to be with us always.