The headline of Elizabeth Heath’s article “Adaptability may be your most essential skill in the covid-19 world” caught my attention. She describes the uncertainty, the upheaval, and the trauma that the pandemic has brought to our lives as we wonder how to pay the rent, how to pay for groceries, or whether it’s safe to go to the store – or to a doctor’s office. I certainly have experienced the uncertainty – or the  feeling of just plain being discombobulated – during the past several months, and I expect that I am not alone!

Being “adaptable” has certainly been my watchword, and that’s an understatement! During the first couple of weeks of our stay-at-home orders, I felt disoriented. The hours bled into days of seeming nothingness. I found it difficult to even remember what I might have done! It took me a while to find a new rhythm for days without definition – no meetings, no errands to run, no visits to make, no appointments to keep.

Just as the pandemic has called for adaptability in our personal lives, church, too, has forced us to adjust. First, the liturgy itself changed (yikes!), shifting from our familiar and beloved Holy Eucharist to Morning Prayer. And our liturgical teams have progressed from a pre-recorded service to live-streaming. Connecting with one another now needs to be intentional – a phone call, an email, a note, or even a Zoom get-together or meeting. Trying out and adapting to new technologies and ways of connecting and being church have helped me reclaim a daily rhythm – albeit a different daily rhythm! Prayer has also helped me.

The upheaval from the pandemic calls for ongoing adaptability, and the article suggests that practicing gratitude can help foster adaptability. By identifying the smallest thing we’re grateful for or just one thing that went right can help as we navigate these “in-between” times.

As I mentioned in my May 24 sermon, church is different and will be different for the foreseeable future. And always, we have the assurance of God’s abiding presence and love – made known to us through Jesus – and who comforts and strengthens us through the Holy Spirit.

Adaptability by Pam Tinsley