Thank you for the good you didn’t do.

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Thank you for the good you didn’t do.

I’ve had that confusing sentence stuck in my head for much of the week. One of the challenges of navigating a pandemic is that we can’t really see the good we are doing, only the missed opportunities of more people getting sick, hospitals overwhelmed, and far too many lives lost.

Local churches across the GNW Area have been sacrificial in their embrace of COVID-19 related precautions and restrictions and surprisingly open in adopting new technology. Our congregations are often among the most cautious in their communities, something which has not been easy. Members (and leaders) have grumbled, but who would have ever predicted how resilient and adaptive the majority have been!

I have absolutely no doubt that you have saved lives over these past 18 months. I can’t tell you how many, but I know it is more than just one or two. I hope you can take a moment to absorb that – our churches have saved lives.

A number of the pastors I know have mixed feelings about pastor appreciation month (which is October), and in normal times, I would probably side with those who feel it is yet another Hallmark holiday.

But this year, I hope our congregations find ways to acknowledge their pastors and the life-saving work they are doing. AND I hope they will also extend that same appreciation to all the other staff and lay leaders who are invested in this important work too.

So, again. Thank you for the good you didn’t do. And apologies if you still find that confusing.


Patrick Scriven serves as Director of Communications and Young People’s Ministries for the Pacific Northwest Conference and is the convener and communicator for the GNW COVID-19 Response Team.

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