Recovenanting Together: Letting Go and Moving Together

Elaine and Rachael

Pastors Elaine and Rachael recovenant as Pr. Elaine's work is done and Pr. Rachael's work resumes.

Living Table UCC gathered as Roomers and Zoomers for vibrant, interactive hybrid worship on Recovenanting Sunday, also saying goodbye to Pr. Elaine and welcome back back to Pr. Rachael.

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What a joy it was to be gathered for worship with all of you once more. I love how we include both “Roomers” and “Zoomers” so fully during worship. Our service focused on letting go of that which no longer serves and inviting God into those places we normally keep hidden. If we continue to remind ourselves that as the Bodymind of Christ, we are the embodiment of Divine Love, then we will be able to find the lost in and among us and all around us. Not only will we find lost parts of ourselves and people who are lost in the world, we will be able to offer Love in a way that is healing and full of joy. This is the covenant we renewed with God and one another.

Pastor Rachael participates in the room in the shared ritual by writing things down, fashioning an airplane, and letting it go.
I look forward to continuing to explore the many ways in which we can make worship fully participatory. We bring our whole bodyminds to worship and it is amazing when we can employ all our senses as we gather. It really was a joy to see the paper planes fly and hear the laughter as folx moved about trying to get their planes to land on the communion table. What we do is serious, though there is no need to take ourselves seriously while we do it.

As part of our recovenanting worship, we all had an opportunity to write down something or many things we wanted to let go of. We then folded those pieces of paper into airplanes. On Zoom folx were invited to throw them away from themselves and later place them in somewhere visible to remind themselves that God’s love enfolds the whole of who we are. Those in the room were invited to aim the paper planes toward the altar. The RAT (Ritual Arts Team) will create a visual display to hang in the sanctuary to remind us that God is not waiting for us to be flawless. Rather, we are loved in this moment and always, no matter what we think we might be hiding from the world, ourselves, or the Holy One.

Singing and ASL-signing ‘The Face of God’ to one another in the room and on Zoom, Sandy leading.
It was wonderful to be reminded, as we reminded one another, that each of us is the face of God. We sang and signed to our neighbor, and from folks in the room to folks on Zoom and back. I hope you all carry this reminder through the week and find a way to share it with those you encounter out in the world. We are all the face of God.

As you encounter people this week, I encourage you to ask yourself how you can share any of the gifts of Living Table with them. Are they lonely? Are they feeling disconnected? Are they discouraged? Can you invite them to one of the activities we offer? Perhaps you are meeting with someone who is full of life and joy? Wouldn’t they also benefit from the strengths of our community? Consider how you might invite them in. Anyone can be a Roomer or a Zoomer.

Living Table UCC hybrid interactive communion with Roomers
All are welcome at our Table, truly. Whether you are in the room or on Zoom, our table is open and accessible. Our communion bread is common-allergen free, and our cup is filled with grape juice. If you are on Zoom, we encourage you to find something to eat and drink to share in this ritual. God’s love is extended to all. If you join us on Zoom, there is no need to turn on your camera if that is the most comfortable way to join us. We know there are many reasons why your camera might not be on, and it’s okay. We know you show up any way you can, even if we can’t see you. Thank you for being part of our community whether you are Zoomer or a Roomer.
This past Sunday was a day for renewing our covenant with God and one another. It was also the beginning of our program year. We recommitted to the life, ministry, and work of this community. I am excited to see where we will go as we serve God and one another in the coming months. May we continue to grow and flourish in the light of Divine Love.
Living Table UCC hybrid interactive communion with Zoomers

About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and mental health ministry. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others.

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