Last week, I was in a meeting with several other clergy members of our conference. As part of our check in time, the person leading the meeting asked us, “What are you learning?” I love that she both asked the question and phrased it that way. Often, we get asked what we are reading. I love to read (see previous blog posts with book lists for evidence), but reading isn’t the only way we learn.
In our group, many of us listed books, but one member mentioned that he was learning both a new style of teaching and refreshing his math skills. (He serves as a high school teacher as his clergy appointment.) I’ve been thinking about this since the meeting. What am I learning? And what are others around me learning?
In the past year, my children have learned many new things. One learned to crochet; one to play a new instrument; one to build a computer. They also all have learned how to do school online and how to keep up with friends during social distancing.
My husband is learning to play the bass guitar. He’s always wanted to learn, so a month ago, he bought one and is learning through online videos. I’m learning more about digital ministry – through reading and classes and also through experience. I’m also learning to listen to my body about things like rest.
As a church, we’ve learned how to keep being the church without the building. Now, we are learning how to come back to the building in new ways. We’ve learned new things about the needs of our community. We’ve learned more about racism and its impact in society.
We’ve all had to learn so much this past year. Some of what we have learned was just for a time—how to sanitize groceries or which Netflix shows are the best for a laugh. But I hope that, as we begin to emerge from the pandemic, we keep the long-term things we have learned—how to love God in unforeseen circumstances and how to love our neighbors in new ways. Most importantly, I hope that we all keep learning and sharing what we learned with one another.