One of the most common understandings of the modern pastor is that of a shepherd who cares for their flock. Jesus tells us that he is the good shepherd (John 10:11-18). We are told to tend to those in our care (1 Peter 5:2-3). And so over the years, I have developed an understanding through the example of other Pastors, through my training and experience to try and care for my church members as if I was a gentle shepherd who lovingly cares for them and tries to protect them.
But, I have always led by proximity. I was always close to people. Saw people. Touched people (in appropriate ways of course). How does a shepherd care for those he cannot see? This has been my dilemma since the COVID crisis began and it will likely be my problem for a while as the future is uncertain.
One thing I ask is this, if you need help or assistance, please let someone (or the church) know. I am not psychic and do not know your needs unless you tell me. If you need prayer, to talk or even a roll of toilet paper or some food, please let us know by emailing the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will do all we can, in these crazy days, to love and help one another. As Jesus commanded Peter in John 21, we will work to "feed" the sheep (spiritually, emotionally and even physically).
God bless you all,