Our OUTLOOK team recently interviewed MAUC Church Ministries director Pastor Roger Wade, who calls himself an “island boy” from Trinidad, to see how the COVID-19 pandemic and changing health guidelines have affected church ministries in Mid-America territory. Pastor Wade, who has served for almost 20 years across various regions of the U.S. and in a variety of roles including pastor and youth director, shares his observations below.
How has social distancing impacted church life?
There are some ministries that feel the impact when they can’t meet in person and there are some that are spot-on in the new virtual reality. We have many churches meeting the needs of seniors, youth, young adults, children and parents. From Denver to St. Louis to Minneapolis to Overland Park, all around our union so much engagement is happening even within social distancing.
How can we still host VBS this summer?
The curve is flattening across the country and new guidelines may soon be released. For VBS we may need to have smaller groups at one time, or only meet certain days, or possibly only meet virtually. I know of several conferences that are planning virtual VBS, just in case. If you’re interested, contact local church or conference leadership and see how they can help you this year.
Can we do Pathfinders online?
Wow, I never thought I’d be answering this question! We are hoping to connect physically in the near future, but until then there are Pathfinder clubs around the union that are meeting virtually and working on investiture achievement online. In addition, the Lake Region Conference introduced to the Lake Union an online honors system, and Mid-America Union is partnering with them in this endeavor so that our Pathfinders can still enjoy earning honors while at home (lrcyouth.com/events).
Is the Mid-America Union Pathfinder Camporee still scheduled to happen next year?
Yes, it is! We are excited to be planning to head over to the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, from Aug. 4-8, 2021, where we are preparing to host 2,500 Pathfinders and staff. We are hoping and praying that the pandemic will be under control and we can come together in person. We’ve had wonderful union camporees in the past and we want to continue the tradition of involvement. “Finish” is the theme and you will be hearing more about that in the future.
Are there resources you can recommend since we have more opportunities for family time right now?
I am excited that we are having more family time. This gives us the opportunity to regularly have family worship. I want to recommend a resource called 40 Days to Life-Changing Family Worship written by a good friend of mine Dr. MyRon Edmonds. You can get it on Amazon or at your local family bookstore. Also, check out Interactive Family Worship for Kids from AdventSource. Your local church or conference Family Ministries director will have more resources so you can have at your fingertips what you need for family worship to bring the family together and lift up God in your home, to be at the altar and celebrate what He is doing in your family.
What are some ways Adventist Community Services Disaster Response volunteers can still function within the current guidelines?
ACSDR is continually ministering to communities around our union. You can still volunteer in a number of ways, but there are some things I would like you to consider. First, please confirm the need. Make a phone call to ensure volunteers are still needed before showing up. Second, help prevent transmission of this dreaded disease. If you have traveled or been in contact with someone testing positive, please self-quarantine for 14 days before volunteering. Third, consider the risks. Think about your own health, your age, your situation, those you will be around. Talk to your doctor first and carefully count the cost. The site where you volunteer may ask you a number of questions as a precaution before you can serve. Finally, please continue washing your hands and following all the other health guidelines recommended by the CDC. Then when you arrive to help you will truly be providing assistance and not contributing to the spread of the virus.\
Watch the full interview at outlookmag.org/QARogerWade