First Congregational Church of Brimfield

First Congregational Church of Brimfield

Photo Journey Through the Pandemic with First Congregational Church of Brimfield

Interview with Rev. Dawn Adams

Over the last 18 months or so, our nation has faced two pandemics—the health pandemic of COVID 19 and the pandemic of continuous Racial Injustice.  As you think about these two pandemics,  

How did they impact your mission and ministry activities?  

It’s been an unfolding.  Every time we think we are understanding what’s going on, it changes and extends. “Pivot, pivot, and pivot some more.” From in-person, to online worship.  Bible studies online.  Prayer groups, which didn’t exist previously, began online. 

We’ve not only maintained our missions but found new and different ways of doing them. What it means to say “Black Lives Matter” and doing what it means.  We have developed a partnership with the library on a Social Justice issue of racism and trans-rights. It hasn’t affected much of our mission in that the Food Pantry has been ongoing. 

How did your church continue to be engaged in innovative, creative, and unfamiliar ways during the COVID-19 shutdown?  

Sunday school pivoted to online as well.  Lighting candles in the windows that have been lying in the windows of the church and still lit, as a sign of love and compassion.  We have done more work for Bible Studies online and incorporated a lot more video.  Screens in the worship space have enabled getting rid of bulletins and hymnals and have led to an incredible time of experimentation.  It’s a direct result of COVID that a conversation has begun about moving the pews.  They are actively asking the question, “what is worship?” We’ve also been investigating how to maintain connections with those who started coming to church online and have never been in the sanctuary. 

What were the low points, failures, or frustrations? 

Exhaustion.  The negative and positive is “pivoting, pivoting, pivoting," and learning how much you could do.  There was only myself to learn the A/V and get it ready for Sunday.   

Financial support from outreach efforts that were lost was a struggle. The folk of the church came through and supported the church in new ways. The last couple of months have been difficult on folks and there is a general sense of COVID exhaustion. 

Pastoral care was affected by not being able to be in hospitals.  The Council was given Call Logs to call groups of 10 people throughout the pandemic. Families also had to deal with delayed services for their loved ones. 

What were the high points and successes?  

The pandemic gave us a reminder of what church is.  Church is not the building.  We were reminded of the movement of the spirit, and that is true for both pandemics.  We can caught up in the day to day busy-ness, and this gave us an opportunity to focus on these two pandemics. It’s caused people to think about what is life? What do I want life to be? What is life being filled with? What is important and what is not? 

What lessons, learnings or changes will your congregation carry into the future? 

It’s not over.  “Health has become of greater importance to me.”  Lessons of the pandemic will be rolling out for years to come. But we've learned to recognize what’s important and have practiced slowing down a little bit.  We are also honoring the importance of being literally present to one another while accepting the “creative” spirit of change. There is a hope that we continue to be willing to bend.  “Something in this time period has invited people to see people as people;” to see the other as brother. It’s made the church become more aware of how others live, daily. 

Video Interview with Rev. Dawn Adams


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1 Badger Road
Framingham, MA 01702

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