Categories: Council

Council Corner: Dave Foss

Change, Risk, and Opportunities

Change is inevitable.

Everything happens for a reason.

The new normal.

I think we’re all getting sick and tired of overused phrases like these, especially due to what we’ve been through these last 15 months… but they are overused for a reason. They help comfort us during times of uncertainty.  What’s next?  When will things improve?  Will we ever return to normal?  What has changed forever?

Normal is an illusion.  What we call normal, is actually a long period of time where things are changing slowly.  Changes that are happening are minor, giving us ample time to adjust.

Abrupt, catastrophic change causes fear and uncertainty.  A prolonged period of this provides opportunities to adapt, innovate, and improve.  Just look at what Covid has motivated us to do: 

Before Covid, video conferencing (e.g. Zoom), was rarely used for work.  Now, a significant portion of the workforce has learned to work and communicate remotely using video conferencing.  Organizations have come to the realization that many of their employees can work effectively from home, reducing the need for expensive office space.  They’ve learned that many business trips can be replaced with video conferencing, reducing travel costs. 

Before Covid, geographically dispersed families were forced to limit face to face interaction, due to travel costs and time constraints.  Parents and grandparents were limited to phone calls, often not seeing their grandchildren for years at a time, save the occasional picture in the mail.  Covid just made this worse.  Now, we can have virtual face to face visits with our loved ones any time we want, without the extra burdens of travel costs and vacation time.

Before Covid, almost all education was in person.  When the Auburn Schools were notified on a Thursday afternoon that they would be completely virtual the following Monday, laptops had to be acquired and handed out to students to take home.  Less than 2 days?  No one could have imagined it possible, but they did it!  Staff and students then had to figure out how to teach and learn overnight, and they did.

Before Covid, almost all worship was in person.  All of the sudden, we had to figure out how to stream our worship. We had never considered the possibility, but we figured it out.  We barely missed a beat.

We’ve learned a lot about our need for in-person social interaction, due to our prolonged lack of it.  Getting back to our in-person gatherings have, in many cases, been very emotional.

The fatigue of this prolonged period of social isolation has numbed us to the still present health risks.  Let’s not let Covid fatigue lull us into poor choices moving forward.  We still have lots of questions… 

Should I get vaccinated?

How long will immunities last?

Will there be another wave of Covid cases?

Should i still wear a mask in public?

How do we protect ourselves and still participate in group activities?

Messiah is returning to group worship cautiously, erring on the side of caution and care for each other.  Our Council is carefully balancing the need to gather and the need to keep our congregation healthy.

I’m not sure we’ll ever return to the pre-Covid “normal.”  But, is that a bad thing?  Change is inevitable, improvement is not.  Be prepared to adapt, even if you can’t imagine having to.

God Bless…

Dave Foss

Messiah Council Member