Grace to you and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord, Jesus Christ!
What strange times we live in! We have now passed the three-month mark since we made the difficult decision to close Transfiguration in hopes of flattening the curve in this time of pandemic. I belong to a private Facebook group called “Things They Didn’t Teach Us in Seminary.” Three months ago, that group took over my Facebook feed. It’s safe to say that nearly everything we’re doing now fits under the heading of “things they didn’t teach us in seminary!” The group has been fun and sustaining during this time, from the very first COVID meme I saw:
True enough: Fr. Casey and I have learned a thing or two about televangelism. Judson Watkins has been our steadfast side kick, himself learning to navigate directing, editing, and producing video worship. All of us have, I hope, learned how technology can help us stay connected even when we can’t be here in person. This week, we invited several of our staff to share a little about how they’re leading ministry during these turbulent times.
Youth Ministry, by Dana Jean
Fig Youth may have had the easiest transition of all our groups. They’ve been waiting all their lives for unfettered access to electronics! We quickly began meeting through Zoom for Wednesday Crossover, including “Goods & Get Betters” (check ins) and Evening Prayer. We’ve movies together, done crafts, and played crazy games! This summer, our Middle School group is reading and discussing A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages, the High Schoolers are studying Can I Ask That, learning that they can ask anything they want of their faith.
We concluded our formation year with a Zoom study of the Letter of James, considering James’ practical wisdom for living as Christians. We have taken a break from Sunday School for the summer, but have several opportunities to serve in the community and will continue to connect virtually for fellowship and fun. Meanwhile, most of our Sunday School teachers are continuing to meet weekly for prayer, fellowship and a study of Romans!
Second Half and Stephen Ministry, by Pastor Nancy DeStefano
In May, Second Half began hosting a Seniors’ High Tea. We meet every Wednesday at 3:30 via Zoom to check in with each other and discuss whatever is on our minds. All Second Halfers (that is, anyone who self-identifies as being in the second half of life) are welcome to join us. To join, please contact Pastor Nancy.
Our Stephen Ministers continue to meet monthly and to continue providing care for their care receivers by phone or other safe means. Stephen Ministers are trained to walk with others through challenging situations or phases of life. If you or someone you know would like to meet with a Stephen Minister, please contact Pastor Nancy.
Transfigured Nights Goes Virtual, by Joel Martinson
Transfigured Nights presented its first Virtual Concert two weeks ago. Violinist Maria Schleuning and pianist Evan Mitchell made their Art Music debut in Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5, and were joined by cellist Gayane Manasjan Fullford in Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1. The concert may be streamed at any time from our new YouTube channel “Transfigured Nights & Art Music.” The direct link for the concert is https://youtu.be/LdG_U2GoPDg. Please share this information with your family, friends, and neighbors. We hope you will “follow” our channel and will leave feedback there and on the Transfigured Nights Facebook page.
Children’s Ministries by Cindy Hauser
In the spring we offered weekly faith formation classes, Family Sunday School and Godly Play stories told virtually by our teachers. Since then, we have begun offering online Zoom Children’s Chapel for elementary age children. Our goal is to help children experience Scripture, pray, and worship in a way they can understand and enjoy while their parents attend our streamed worship service. Older children can serve as role models and Jr. Lectors for these services which take place at 9:00 a.m., June 14th through August 30th.
We are thrilled to share that VBS WILL BE HAPPENING this year, with one modification: instead of families bringing their kids to VBS, we’re bringing VBS to the them. From June 26-28, Transfiguration will be hosting a “physical-distancing”-friendly VBS called BOLT. With easy-to-follow instructions, a VBS Bolt Bonus Bag of supplies (which we will provide), and a video that leads families step-by-step through each of the 3 days, BOLT is designed to bring the fun and faith-formation of VBS to families. It will truly be an amazing time together!
Book Club, by Dcn. Ginny Kivel
When Covid-19 prevented our Tuesday afternoon book club from gathering in person, we quickly pivoted to Zoom for our meetings. None of us were familiar with Zoom’s technology, but with a lot of patience and a desire to be together, we persevered. Each week on Tuesday at 1 pm, we gather to study, pray, support, and love each other. While our meetings may not feel as intimate as when we gathered in person, our fellowship and learning have continued strong! Interested in joining our book club? Email Deacon Ginny.
Friends, we are the Body of Christ. We may not be able to gather in person in our beloved building, but as you can see from this short list of activities, our lives together are thriving and active. We are aware that many of our ministry and fellowship groups are meeting virtually this summer, and we know that others may be interested in virtual meetings and in need support to get started. We are here to help!
So, jump in to one of the above groups or reach out to me or any one of our talented staff members for assistance in getting started with virtual meetings for your group. It is our pleasure to help you find your place within the Body.
I’ll see you on Sunday!