Funded by a 2021 Louisville Institute Pastoral Study Project Grant, the Resiliency Time Capsule Project was a collaborative cross-conference project that sought to capture the stories of churches during the dual pandemics of 2020 -COVID-19 and Racial Injustice. Twenty-four churches participated throughout the course of the project, contributing pictures, videos, written reflections, and video interviews to demonstrate the specific challenges, innovations, and growth each experienced throughout the pandemic.
In describing the project, Rev. Dr. Audrey Price said, “Future generations will look back in wonder and study how the church journeyed through these pandemics and in some ways thrived. It is important to capture and chronicle now the church’s witness. In capturing the witness, we explore how the church interpreted and responded to the still speaking God in this generation.”
The documentary premiere event in October was a culmination of this work. The resulting nearly 60-minute documentary weaves the stories of featured churches throughout Southern New England and explores the themes of a faithful response to the challenge to ministry, creative innovations, and the essential work of racial injustice within these congregations. It provides a digital snapshot of one of the most challenging eras in our then, newly forming conference’s history. Attendees included SNEUCC staff and church leaders from throughout the conference.
After sharing a meal and fellowship with one another and a showing of the documentary, participants gathered in small groups to engage in discussions about how they have continued to deepen or further implement the changes or adaptations from the pandemic, how they are navigating an anticipated movement from the pandemic to endemic, and the wisdom they would share with future church leaders during times of uncertainty.
Rev. Darrell Goodwin reflected, "The resiliency project affirmed the strength, dedication, and conviction of the United Church of Christ in southern New England. I was personally humbled, inspired, and honored to serve the congregations of this region and proud to share their stories of faithfulness across our denomination. The resiliency project is a must-see testimony of how we have and will continue to move through these troubled times."
Visit the Time Capsule website today to learn more about the journeys and innovations of churches in our conference during the 2020 pandemic.
Elisa Wilson, of the Center for Transformational Leadership, has worked in a variety of non-profit settings, including The Salvation Army, King's Chapel Early Care & Education Center, and the University of Connecticut. Throughout her career, Elisa ...