Conversations with ATX Leaders: Tom Diviney
For many, framing a post pandemic culture with a “new normal” feels a bit premature, but all leaders are looking to what moving forward means for their groups and organizations. Pastor Tom Diviney of Bethany United Methodist Church is remaining attentive to how his church will be shaped through this pandemic.
Even while a handful are enjoying less traffic on the busy Austin roadways, that upside comes at a cost for many. “We are seeing an impact on several congregations member as they have lost jobs,” shares Tom, “Still, there is a sense the community is coming together in new ways.”
Most churches are seeing an increase in their online attendance for services and small groups. This means leadership is having to think through what that might mean moving forward. Church staff teams are having conversations about how to continue to maintain connection with their digital church family. “As we come back together as the body, we are asking ourselves what kinds of things need to stay online?”
Responding to adversity is not a new task for the Church. Reminded of previous natural disasters, Tom reflects, “but the difference seems to be with those moments you could bring people together, but during this time we can’t.” Each crisis we have experienced in the past prepares us for tomorrow. “It’s called redemption,” shares Tom, “when God takes struggle and forms something new.”
“The story of Easter says that at some point we will go from Good Friday to that Sunday.” Fully engaging the grief and process of lose, but to holding on to hope while in the midst of darkness. The community of Bethany UMC did not respond to this crisis by asking, “How can we escape?”, but instead, they began by asking, “How can we serve?” Don’t miss this uplifting conversation from a local leader seeing God at work.