Church Council Message
During this past month, the new audio/video system installed in the church was successfully used to record and Zoomcast our choir singing a variety of songs, many related to Christmas. Almost more important than the recordings themselves, those performances were an opportunity for the choir to come together and create music we love performing for ourselves and for the congregation each year. For me, it was a therapeutic return to all that feels right in church. Even as we were (anti) socially spread across the front of the sanctuary and wearing masks, we did our best to recreate a sound composed to resonate to the rafters. A challenge for LCC for the coming year will be how best to take advantage of this newly available technology (digital audio/video recording and transmission) and a new, international social pattern (virtual assembly).
During the past year, the church has sponsored events designed specifically to bring the community to us, to join us in fun, food, music, and worship. We succeeded and we failed. Rather than listing the attempts, it is safe to say that one stunning success was our potluck supper in February. That was successful not only because a lot of people came and brought food (we filled the downstairs of the Town Hall), but because SO MANY members of the church participated! And many from the community left saying, “When are you doing this again?!,” a question they repeated for weeks and months following that one supper. And were it not for Covid-19, I suspect we would now be on our third community supper, possibly fourth. A challenge for Church Council in the coming year will be how and when to schedule the next community supper. Perhaps a coming out party following mass Leverett vaccination?... During the past two years, I have met and become acquainted with younger families in Leverett, families comprised of couples and single parents with children in pre-school, primary school, secondary school, and college. I can name four families with one to three children within a quarter-mile of the center of Leverett that twelve months ago I did not know existed. Their lives have changed in many, many ways this past year, whether it be job change, job loss (at-will or not at-will), child learning patterns and school schedules, extended family obligations and on and on. A challenge for the church in the coming year will be how to reach these families, members of our community who could use some support or help in some way.
One suggestion I offer to Church Council is to create a recreation center in the center of town, in the Dixon House, made available to families with age-appropriate children. Envision as you wish, the rec center would serve as a transition space, physically and temporally, for families that are coming and going and might welcome a safe space during those difficult-to-schedule periods. And the kids might find it cool. It would take time, planning and ongoing execution, but mostly it would take initiative. Steve Woodard’s improvements to the exterior of the Dixon House have made it extremely attractive, a building welcoming to parents of school-age children.
Tom Hankinson, Chair Church Council