In physical, but not social isolation. Here are some resources to guide you on the 5th Sunday of Lent and throughout the season.
Last Sunday, as the same during the previous Sunday, my family engaged in Sunday worship service at home because of COVID-19. We sang hymns, recited the Apostle’s Creed, and some liturgy then watched an online sermon from a minister that my mother, Elizabeth, enjoys.
I posted a picture of the worship guide I made on my Facebook page, and some church members who follow me asked me to share one for this week so that they may do the same.
The worship guide and scanned hymns for the 5th Sunday of lent that my family will be using can be reached here. We will begin worship around 10:30 - we invite you to join us in Spirit.
I also wanted to share some other resources Christ followers can use to stay connected to God and the Church during this time.
1) The Daily Office
The Daily Office is a practice done by Christians for centuries and is (thankfully!) making a comeback. It allows those participating to form their schedules around prayer. This changes our perspective by allowing us to center God in our lives, rather than attempting to squeeze God in, and in my opinion, connects them to Church Triumphant in ways other spiritual disciplines do not. While I (attempt to – yes sometimes I get off) use the Daily Office provided by the Order of St. Luke, the United Methodist Church published a list of offices one can use in their daily prayer life in 2007. There is also a daily order found in the United Methodist Hymnal #876-879.
2) Order of St. Luke Resources
Sister Sarah E., my mentor in my vocational process within the Order of St. Luke, reminded me that the Order of St. Luke published a liturgy named "A Liturgy for When We Cannot Meet" for use. This is an excellent resource for those seeking a more communal form of worship.
3) Take up a new spiritual discipline
We must allow ourselves to be transformed by the Holy Spirit during this time when many of us have so much extra time in our hands. From reading your Bible to praying more times throughout the day, there are many spiritual disciplines that you can be using during this time to strengthen your relationship with God.
4) A Love Feast
Though you should proceed cautiously and abide by CDC and state advice regarding gatherings, a Love Feast could be an excellent way of connecting with your family. Here is some background on the practice from the United Methodist Church.
5) Online meetings with other faithful
It is important to recognize that we are not truly socially distant. Thanks to the internet, we are still able to connect with those around us while remaining physically distant. Zoom, Facetime, Skype, and other electronic forms of communication are excellent ways to engage in worship with one another while remaining physically isolated. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other Christians to do this!