Have You Reached Out to My Mom?

pastor, pastoral care, crisis, covid19, coronavirus, visitation, elderly, ministry, congregation, mission

You know her.  She’s been a member at your church since our family had arrived in town 55 years ago.  She and my dad raised all of us there.  Since then, two more generations are a part of the mix.  She’s sung in the choir, been on Council, ran a food bank there forever, always attended the early service, has enjoyed Bible studies and WELCA over the years.  So much.  We’ve had all of our family’s baptisms, marriages, funerals there.  She 91…even had her 90th birthday celebration there at church almost two years ago. 


I talked to her the other day.  Actually, I talk to her at least every other day.  You see, she still lives at home.  Yep, pretty healthy.  Takes care of most stuff around there.  But, with all of this Covid-19 business, she’s pretty stuck there, too.  My brother and sister are in town, and they see her with regularity.  But she doesn’t really get out.  Trying to protect her.  You know.  Increasingly these days she shares about her loneliness.  It’s a tough go, sometimes.  Well, what about church stuff, I asked.  Are you connected there?  A couple of friends…they talk on the phone once in a while.  Anyone else?  No.  Boy, that would sure be nice, though, she said.  Someone from church calling her.  Maybe even one of the pastors.  There are two. 


My mom really misses what has been a foundation for her life since she first came into this world.  Faith, church, God, has always been the grounding for her…for our family.  But especially going to church.   I talked to her about the Sunday services.  I know that she’s struggled to connect online.  The dots don’t connect quite like they used to.  Still, she’s pretty sharp.  But I’ve seen her Facebook posts twice now on Sunday mornings.  She’s typed in the name of her church.  She’s trying to connect.  She doesn’t get it.  Were you able to watch, I asked.  No, it just didn’t work.  I don’t know why.  I feel sad for her after our conversation.  


I’m connecting my mom with a Bible study I’m doing online at my own church here in Minnesota.  Is there anything like that there, Mom, I asked her?  No.  Nothing.  I’d sure do it if there was.  I really miss everyone.  I think they’re just waiting for things to get back to normal.  Then, I’ll go, I know. 


But in the meantime, leaders, maybe a call.  A note.  Or a small group online gathering of some sort.   Maybe a revisit for how to connect to online services.  Just to double-check that it’s as simple and straight-forward for someone like my mom. 


I always make sure to mail in my offering, she told me.  I know, Mom.  That’s great.  She loves her church.  Always a priority.  I learned generosity from her.  Maybe a thanks.


These are tough times.  There’s a lot of re-orientation.  Challenges.  Meetings.  Budgets.  Vision-casting.  Live-streaming.  Worry.  Wondering.  But, if you get a chance, reach out to my mom.  She’d be so grateful.


Rev. Tim Johnson | Consultant | Kairos and Associates | email

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