2020 has been a year of lament – but also of hope. We interviewed three pastors recently about how their congregations are bringing hope to their communities. We created these videos in honor of the 224th General Assembly that was hosted virtually during the summer of 2020 with the theme “From Lament to Hope.”
From Lament to Hope: Union Church, Seattle
COVID-19 hit Seattle hard beginning in early March, and Union Church was forced to transition to virtual services and ministry. The church’s South Lake Union neighborhood emptied out, and pastor Rev. Renee Notkin decided to create a ministry that would bring everyone together. Once a week, the church makes and distributes burritos to anyone who wants one, as an opportunity to visit, socially distanced, with each other and come together for common good. Renee sees hope in the future when all can come together again, and hopes that our country is ready to stand up for racial justice.
From Lament to Hope: Idlewild Presbyterian, Memphis
As COVID-19 changed how this mid-city Memphis church gathered for worship, it also provided an opportunity for the congregation to become a hub for the needy. Rev. Anne H.K. Apple, transitional head of staff for Idlewild, explains how the church has stepped up to serve the community, and how the church has walked with its own members as they experience death and mourning. Rev. Apple sees hope as we move forward through the pandemic and as we work for racial justice for our country. (2 minutes)
From Lament to Hope: First Presbyterian, San Diego
San Diego’s downtown homeless population has come to rely on First Presbyterian Church’s Ladle Fellowship for medical needs, fellowship, food, and the love of Christ for decades. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the church had to curtail its ministry from in-person gatherings to distribution of meals with a devotional. John Savidge, director of the Ladle Fellowship, explains how the church has changed its ministry. The church deeply feels the loss of fellowship, and looks forward to a time to when all can gather again. (2 minutes)