Back inside! It’s finally happening! We have moved our Sunday service back into the building.
For many months now (i’ve honestly lost count), we’ve been having our service outside, under a tent, in the parking lot of the church in Parkdale that we have been residing in throughout Covid. Each week we would hope for the best when checking the weather on Sunday mornings. It was difficult to have consistency with the rain, wind, and the cold dampening our plans. We always worked with what we had, switching to outreach when the restrictions got more intense or having one on one prayers in the rain. Having to be flexible is what we’re used to at The Dale!
Besides those things, there have been a lot of perks to church outside! I know I have already mentioned it but there’s something so special about being out underneath the trees, seeing the squirrels go by, and hearing the birds all while worshiping together- and I’ve heard others say the same. Also, the openness of the outdoors offers less limits on people and where we sat was more visible for anyone walking by to see and jump in. I will miss having church outdoors, but I won’t be surprised if one day when summer rolls around we’ll end up outside again.
At the beginning of the month, we had our first service inside. With masks, distancing, and a limit of 25 people, there was a carefulness felt in the room. Simultaneously, there was a comfort of being back somewhere familiar. These pews were the same ones most of our congregation sat in pre-covid. It was this same sanctuary where I got to know a lot of our core community members on my internship back in 2018.
Our time together felt special- we gave peace signs to each other from across the room, worshiped with Erinn on the piano paired with an electric guitar played by a friend from the community, and we shared in communion together at the end. When the service wrapped up we all headed outside for some hot chocolate in to-go cups and for some time to catch up.
Being displaced throughout covid and in figuring out how to do church outside, has been a on-going reminder that church can happen anywhere, that it is all about the people. We are the church and will continue to be wherever we are.
My job with The Dale requires that I fundraise my entire salary! If you would like to support me in my work go to thedale.org/donate or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please prayerfully consider joining my team whether that be through support financially or through prayer! Thank you!