Rhythms for the COVID-19 pandemic
If you’re struggling during this COVID-19 season, we suggest the following communal Rhythm to help ground us as a non-anxious presence for the good of our city.
As always, start simple. Choose one practice, a few, or all of them. But do not turn them into a checklist or a bar to achieve. Focus on the practices that keep you grounded in Christ, period. This is not a season for renewed self-improvement. But as always, our call is to be present to the presence of Jesus.
Up – Upward to God
One — Begin and end with presence instead of screen
Before you do anything else or touch a screen, begin your day with God in prayer, meditate upon Scripture, and be present to the presence of Jesus. End your day in the same way. Try out the Daily Offices as a habit, and set your alarm to pray for the world and COVID-19 at 12:12pm. Try lighting a candle at the end of the day to meditate upon the light of Christ as the hope of the world.
Two — Cultivate Gratitude
Cultivate gratitude. Use a gratitude journal in the morning or evening. Develop habits of sharing moments of thankfulness with friends or family. Gratitude cultivates a worldview of grace—receiving all of life and salvation as a gift.
Three — Keep Sabbath
Resist the urge to “make the most” or “maximize” this season. Commit to a full day of rest in which you cease from work, social media, and news for 24 hours. The Sabbath keeps us in sync with the rhythms of God’s creation.
In — Inward to Self
Four — Self care
Take care of yourself by getting up and going to bed at the same time every day. Shower. Get dressed and ready for the day even though you’ll be staying home. Keep your environment clean and tidy. Try to find simple ways to move for 20-30 minutes a day. All these things impact our mental health. Read this article for more ideas, or, this great resource for mental health from Anne Shannon (RCC).
Five — Limit media and escapism
It’s difficult not to constantly check the news or refresh our feed. The temptation to scroll is endless. Consider limits around your consumption. Perhaps 30-45 minutes a day at a specific time during the day. Take note when you’re using anything as a way to escape and try to be present to what is going on within you at that moment.
With — Withward in Community
Six — Prioritize intentional connection
We are made for relationship. This is a time to press into our interdependence. Identify a few core people and be intentional about how often you’ll connect with one another. Share openly about your experience during this season. Prioritize your virtual community group meeting and virtual worship on Sundays.
Out — Outward in Mission
Seven — Expand your circle
People will feel increased loneliness and isolation during this time. How can you increase your circle? How can you connected with them? Be creative.
One more option
As we seek to collaborate with others during this crisis, we invite you to join churches throughout Metro-Vancouver and across Canada to fast on Wednesdays. Perhaps you fast for the whole day, a meal or two meals. Whatever you do, carve out intentional time for intercessory prayer.