This past Sunday was our 7th in a row of worshiping online, and I’m tired.
I’m tired of not seeing people face-to-face, tired of not hearing our voices blending together, adjusting to one another as we sing and pray together, tired of not being able to look you in the eye and serve you the Body and Blood of Christ, tired of not hearing our kids giggle as they play together and participate in worship as best they can.
But I know it’s even more tiring for many of you who have younger kids. A friend of mine wrote this on Twitter last week:
Keeping a handle on four kids in a pew was difficult. Keeping four kids occupied during zoom worship is impossible or at least beyond my skills as a parent. It is WILD in these parts. Send help.
Under normal circumstances, our liturgy demands a lot from young kids, and now that we’ve added the difficulty of trying to worship together via Zoom meeting, it’s basically impossible for kids to pay attention or meaningfully participate.
So Fr. Matt and I just want to say that we see this and understand how difficult it is for you right now. If you’ve felt bad that your kids aren’t able to pay attention or that they’re uninterested in participating in worship, you’re not alone, and it’s okay.
We weren’t meant to live like this, so it makes sense that we’re struggling to do so! Even though it’s temporary, it’s profoundly stressful for all of us, and our kids are coping as best they can, just like us.
Parents: just do what it takes to hold on and get through this. If that means your kids use the coloring sheet we include in the liturgy and show it during the Peace, that’s great. If that means they just sit and doodle during worship, that’s great. If that means they watch a video in the other room, that’s fine, too.
Also, our kids ministry coordinator Ryan Donoho has started a group chat for parents who want to share ideas and experiences with each other. If you’d like to join it, reach out to him via GroupMe or email (ryan at thetableindy dot org).
We will get through this together, friends! It won’t last forever. As we hear from state and local authorities in the coming weeks, we will develop some preliminary plans on what it might look like for us to begin to gather again in-person.
I look forward to being able to be in the same space as you as soon as it is safe and responsible to do so! May God’s grace continue to sustain all of us through this exhausting and grief-filled season.