Worth Your Time: Our DOC Regional Minister Reflects on the Situation We’re In

Many of you know, or know of, our Christian Church (DOC) Regional Minister Rev. Teresa Dulyea-Parker. She assists and cares for all Disciples congregations and pastors in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.


 One thing this means is that Teresa has her finger on the pulse of what our fellow Disciples are going through as we emerge from the Covid pandemic shutdowns. Truth be told, it hasn’t been easy or comfortable for any congregations or churches. And, she has had a unique insider’s perspective on what this period of time has been like for our fellow Disciples across these 3 states.


About 2 weeks ago, Teresa emailed another one of her frequent “clergy alerts,” which helps to keep pastors in touch with her and each other. In this particular email, she included her own reflections about where we’ve been and where we’re going together as Disciples. I found the truth of our situation jarring (yet again!). But I found her reflections inspiring and hopeful. This week I share these reflections with you, hoping that you find inspiration and hope in them as I did.


Peace in Abundance, Pastor Bob <>< 


Reflections of Rev Teresa Dulyea-Parker: 


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Traveled 5 hours … on Monday to meet with a lovely Disciple congregation needing some support. These are “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” folk. Like you have in your congregations.


They told me about the hurt and pain that has been happening in their congregation over Covid-19 protocols/which is about so much more than Covid-19. (It would have been enough . . . if it were only about a pandemic.)


We talked about how this is affecting every congregation. We talked about the blessing that we are still here. We talked about the great need for mental health resources in our communities—there is pain, grief, anxiety everywhere. 


We talked about the reality that if 1/3 of your congregation is back that’s a point of celebration. If 1/2 are back that’s a huge grace. And, if you have more than that percentage, it’s time to do a dance of joy! We are still here!


We talked about the need to cut each other a little slack—read grace. And, that we are all doing the best that we can in this moment and the next. None of us can do this alone. We need each other. We need grace. 


And, we talked about the need for simple rituals, like lighting a Christ candle at the beginning of every board meeting and praying together for “Jesus to heal us and our church.”


And, I thanked them for doing the work of caring for the well-being of their people, even when it wasn’t appreciated. Even, when it was hard and hurtful.


Thank you. . . 


A reminder, we didn’t get into this quickly, and it will take time to crawl out of it, or recover or be made new. It starts with the first step—“Jesus heal us and our church.”


Ultimately, we will be made new. . .