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Capacity, Expectations and Going the Distance

I wonder if this is happening to you these days? I feel like I am saying "Before Covid..." a whole lot more. There are so many ways and places this seems to be happening, from the general sense about what life was like "BC" to my own experience of my capacity "BC" vs. now. I'm wondering if you can relate?

One of the ways I've been seeing the general as it relates to our congregation is in creating the budget "look back" from 2014 to 2022. I've wanted to get a better sense of where things were before - Janet, Emily, Bunny, Yael, the Governance/Bylaws experiment, Covid, etc. - to fill in more of the holes of the puzzle that is FCCUCC. Thirteen and a half months in, I am still trying to make sense of certain things so I can better contextualize where we are today. The budget is a great way to see things that we might otherwise not be added to the larger narrative of how we got to where we are today.

On a personal level, I've been struggling all week (post vacation) with what feels like the return of some Covid symptoms. I've been dealing with a level of brain fog and exhaustion that I can't attribute to anything other than having had a wonderful time hiking in AZ, and overdoing it. Maybe three 7-9 miles hikes in a row was a little much? It sure felt good at the time! "BC," I wouldn't even think about how this much exercise might cause problems, but, having read some of the research on this, I really do need to take recovery into account for a minimum of 6 months, if not a year. grrr....

This all gets to our individual and collective capacity, expectations and how it is we can go the distance in this season of post-Pandemic limitations where trying to go back to what was true "BC" is simply not an option.

I see this playing out in a number of spheres here at FCCUCC.

First is the sphere of our collective capacity to DO.

  • "BC" there were more people to draw from to keep the proverbial wheels turning.

  • "BC" there was more money to support same

  • "BC" there were more staff people to support same

  • "BC" we weren't managing technology that is now necessary but very time consuming

What other things would you add to this list?

Then there is the sphere of our personal capacity to do

  • "BC" we each had a rythm, a sense of speed, intensity, involvement that was literally stopped during the shut down.

  • "BC" we were younger (I wonder what researchers will say in 10 or 50 years about how Covid has aged us all?)

  • "BC" NO ONE had had Covid! Obvious, but so important to say.

Again, what other things would you add from your experience?

Whether personal or collective, the simple rule of physics that says "an object at rest tends to stay at rest" needs to be part of the calculation we make when thinking about our capacity, expectations and going the distance. The momentum I had gained to hike longer trails "BC" was stopped and I need to honor my body as I regain momentum. Going the speed of the body is a mandate if recovery, whether physical or emotional, is going to be sustained.

As the Body of Christ, we need to take this wisdom to heart as well. What was possible "BC", as far an historical interim process is concerned, is not an option on this side of the Pandemic. The Body is still recovering and it will take time to regain the momentum lost during the shut down.

AND, we have been changed. I do not know a person or a system that hasn't been changed by the last two years. We are still grieving, still sifting through the debris, still asking ourselves what matters most and how are we going to arrange our lives to live more in alignment with our core values.

This is what our Mission and Vision Workshop is all about. It is about our collective capacity to live in alignment with what we know to be the Divine Plan for FCCUCC. And this is not the plan we could imagine "BC". It is the plan built on the truth of who we are now, with all of the gifts and graces perfectly given for this moment in time, filled with the unknowable future that we can only see through a mirror dimly, and yet fully illuminated by the Creator of all time and space who is already waiting in the doorway to celebrate us home.

Here's to the speed of the Body, the speed of your body. And here's to the continued tenderness we show one another as we make our way home.

Pastor Robin

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