One of the less talked-about changes in our pandemic landscape is the appearance of face mask litter. They fall out of pockets and drop from our hands. They get stepped on and rained on. I saw a cute cloth mask several months ago with a purple flower print and after passing it on the sidewalk for about a week, I picked it up and washed it, but the nose wire was twisted so I threw it in a trash can. Somebody else probably experienced the misshapened nose wire and dropped it on the way to a coffee shop.
The pandemic has forced us to do some of the things we avoided pre-pandemic. This is especially true for Church World. If we had an ineffective music leader before Covid who could not pivot during Covid, it’s likely that the music leader has moved on. It sounds cruel to say that we’ve “thrown away” what wasn’t working – especially when we are talking about people. But the Age of Covid has given us opportunities to reorganize, rethink, reframe the way we life as the Church together.
Detritus can be defined as broken down organic materials or “a product of disintegration, destruction, or wearing away.” Much of the way we were once the Church has disintegrated or been destroyed or worn away by cultural shifts. Unfortunately, the Church has not always kept up.
And some of our churches exist amidst the detritus without ever noticing it’s time to clean things up.
Example: does your church kitchen look like a 1950s kitchen? Most of us do not have 1950s kitchens in our homes. We’ve updated our tools and surfaces to better serve our needs for these days.
Our congregations have the marvelous opportunity – still – to update our tools and surfaces to better serve the needs of the community and the neighborhood in the name of Jesus. This is what I think about when I see old face masks lying on sidewalks. People easily toss them or lose them.
We’re trading them in for N95 or KN95 models.
What detritus is still lying around that we need to clear out in order to be a more faithful, more impactful Church? It’s a good conversation to have with our people.
Image is a collection of photos I’ve taken in my neighborhood over the past month.