What Are We Learning from the Pandemic?

Posted by Liz Perraud at

Liz Perraud

Liz Perraud
Executive Director
GenOn Ministries



My grandmother introduced me to hot tea at a young age. I love it, and I’m picky about how I drink it. Black tea, nothing fancy, decaffeinated, brewed dark, squeeze of lemon, no sugar. I reheat (and reheat) it if I don’t drink it quickly enough so that it stays hot. I have little “lemon” packets to take when I travel so that I always have my lemon flavor. Oh sure, I’ll drink black tea plain or even green tea, but I’m just enduring it. Until this pandemic hit.

I recently heard Tammy Tolman of Intergenerate Australia, wonder, “What is God asking us to learn during this pandemic?” I’ve been thinking about that question a lot.

With my tea, I’ve learned not to be so picky. I’m thankful that my husband ordered the groceries at 2:00 am because that’s the only time he could find an order opening. Even if it was Lemon Myrtle Green Tea. Close. I’ve learned not to be so wasteful. I now steep a second cup with the original tea bag.

What are we learning about ministry? About intergenerational ministry? That community can be practiced in a bunch of new ways? That we miss each other fiercely when we’re not physically present? That giving ourselves a break—a sabbath—is more than okay? That video conferencing is kind of cool? That there’s such a thing as Zoom fatigue?

What will we hold on to? What will we gladly let go of? Now is a great time to plan for future ministry, especially given the virtual and online meeting platforms that we have. We can look out a year from now or six months from now. We can plan to do good ministry. Always a good idea—pandemic or no pandemic.

Take a look at GenOn’s Intergenerational Ministry Snapshot  to evaluate the current context of your congregation and consider areas to modify or redesign: worship, study, service, and fellowship. It takes a snapshot of where your church is today and helps you plan for where you want to be to bring generations together for intentional community. John Roberto of Vibrant Faith has said that every church is on the intergenerational continuum somewhere. Where is your church now? Where would you like to go?

I also recommend to you our new virtual training called Intergenerational Pathways, which lasts 90 minutes and is being offered for $35/person. For 60 years we’ve been an in-person training kind of organization, and that remains our favorite way of bringing training to churches. But we’ve had to shift like everyone else. We’re keeping these video conferencing events small for conversations and relationships. And maybe, when we all return to gathering in the same room, we’ll hold on to this way of gathering and learning, too. It’s not either/or. It becomes both/and. Now I need to go reheat my tea.

Other IG Mix articles - May-June 2020

Two Questions: Tammy Tolman
A Simpler VBS During COVID Season

Sign up for IG Mix: For Intergenerational Community


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