Where There Is Fear, We Can Share Hope

Months ago, the staff of First Christian Church of Edmond sat around a table making plans to use the theme of “wilderness” to guide our Lenten experience. We would never have guessed how appropriate that theme and imagery would be. The wilderness of Lent has proven to be far more than we ever imagined. The entire world is on this wilderness journey with us. We are having to learn how to be church in new ways and how to be church with one another far beyond the physical church building.

There is an abundance of fear right now. Fear of sickness. Fear of death. Fear of isolation. Fear of loneliness. Fear of scarcity. Fear of economic hardship. Fear of the unknown. In this time of fearfulness, the church has unique opportunities. We can share hope. We can show up. We can and we are, and it looks very different than before. Worship is different. Connecting with our friends and church community is different. Meeting needs in the community of Edmond is different. But God is still God, and we are still the church, and we are adapting.

In this unexpected wilderness, we find new ways to encounter God. We have been offering a live stream of our worship services for a few years now, but never like this. The wilderness in which we find ourselves invites us to re-imagine the ways we can have meaningful spiritual encounters. Participating in the online chat with our Sunday worship service last weekend gave me so much life and hope. Many of you brought candles and your own communion elements to hold the sacred space together with the rest of your church family. Many of you found ways for your children to participate, even though we could not gather in one space. Seeing the pictures of the holy spaces you have set up in your own homes was moving.

In this unexpected wilderness, we find new ways to connect with one another. Wednesday the youth of First Christian Church participated in the first-ever Unite By Zoom! We had a video chat with 37 different people at the same time. We sang, prayed, listened to one another and experienced community.  

In this unexpected wilderness, we find new ways to make a difference in our community. We are committed to continuing to provide food for our neighbors through Breakfast on Boulevard. We have adapted to provide social distancing and food safety while still serving food to our most vulnerable neighbors. At the suggestion of Ida Freeman Elementary, we have expanded our Edmond Public School partnership to help EPS provide access to food in other parts of our community.  

In this unexpected wilderness, we find hope. We share that hope through gifts that make it possible to feed our neighbors. How you can be a part of sharing hope? Give a gift online or mail a check to the church marked BOB and be a part of what God is doing in our community in the midst of the wilderness.

Friends, we are not yet out of the wilderness. We don’t know how long we will be here. But we will continue to be the church, innovating as we go, and always sharing hope with our neighbors and one another.  
Rev. Mark Taylor, Associate Minister