As I continue to work at the New Life Church in Renton (near Seattle), I am learning a lot about leadership in times of uncertainty. The Covid19 pandemic influences our lives. People respond in different ways: some ignore it, others panic, still others are convinced it’s all a conspiracy theory of some sort. Our church leadership is luckily not prone to either of these responses but is trying to be responsibly prepared without being panicked. They will not have services on Sundays or any other major gatherings. But they are not canceling church, they are moving it: we will have online services and do many practical things for people in need. My lead pastor said “more than ever, let’s be the church”, and “our hands our not tied, they are just doing something else than we are used to”. As an intern, I am learning how leaders make decisions, how staff responds to stress and how people manage the idea of slowing down their lives. We live in a country where we, for the most part, have the privilege to control our own destiny and “follow our dreams”. But we sometimes forget that we are really not in control of so many things. The best I can do is to work on what I can control and let go of the rest. In the case of the Corona-Virus, I went grocery shopping and got some supplies in case we get quarantined anytime in the next few weeks. I don’t want to panic, I just want to be well-informed and prepared.
But despite Corona, there are many cool things going on, as well. For example, one of the singers at our church (her name is Zan) auditioned for “The Voice” and her episode was aired yesterday on TV. Zan made it into the next round and is on John Legend’s team! I’m proud of her!
Also, my uncle Rick had an art show at a gallery in Seattle. He painted a series of paintings based on childhood memories and was very excited to see the pictures on the wall! Art runs in the family and I am proud of him for shooting for this opportunity.
Finally, I bought a cheap guitar at a pawn shop and made a custom guitar belt out of plastic bags. I had fun walking by shelves of tools and random items. And now, with a guitar, if I’m stuck under quarantine, at least I can write songs and make music!
So, I guess in all these situations, it’s “shooting stars”: With Corona, we are shooting in different directions as if we were trying to shoot stars from the sky, as if a comet had spelled doom or fortune. For Zan and Rick, they are both shining like stars as they aim at a big goal and grow. And for me, I am making the most of the situation, like a kid that spots shooting stars in an otherwise dark sky.
Zusammenfassung: Der Coronavirus beeinflusst unseren Alltag zunehmend, wobei jeder unterschiedlich reagiert: manche ignorieren alles, andere geraten in Panik, wieder ander meinen, es handle sich um eine Verschwörung. Zum Glück hat unsere Gemeindeleitung eine vernünftige Reaktion, die Vorsicht mit Mut und Blick auf Gott verbindet. Alle Gottesdienste, Jugendgruppen, etc. finden nicht vor Ort statt, sondern online. Zudem werden wir viele diakonische/praktische Hilfen aufbauen. Unser Pastor meinte schlicht: Lasst uns jetzt mehr denn je Kirche sein!
Trotz der Umstände passieren aber viele andere, schöne Dinge. Eine unserer Sängerinnen (sie heißt Zan) hat bei der Sendung “the Voice” vorgesungen und es in die nächste Runde geschafft. Mein Onkel hat eine kleine Kunstausstellung in Seattle gehabt. Und ich habe in einem “Pawn Shop” (ähnlich wie ein Secondhand-Laden) eine Gitarre gekauft und dann aus einigen Plastiktüten einen passenden Gurt gebastelt. Falls wir in Quarantäne müssen kann ich jetzt wenigstens Musik machen und Lieder schreiben!