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A Year in the Life: ReFrame

June 15, 2021
Evangelism Initiatives

By Heidi Corcoran, Director of Music and Media for Worship and Formation

As the COVID-19 pandemic persisted into the 2020 summer months, it became clear that in person anything was going to have to wait.  For a while, the Beloved Community had been trying to think of ways to gather people who wanted to go deeper: deeper into the Bible, deeper into the tensions within those stories, and deeper into the ways they connect to our current place and time.  With technology able to connect all of those stuck at home, ReFrame became Beloved’s midweek virtual gathering.  One of the best and least expected qualities Zoom brought to ReFrame was the ability to connect to people from all over the country.  Participants from Florida and North Carolina regularly join members of the Beloved Community for ReFrame.

As the name suggests, Reframe, at its heart, is about helping the participants reframe the stories we are so familiar with, diving deeper into their context, and bringing out different perspectives or facets that bring new life to the Word and how it fits into our lives.  The rhythm of the service that emerged included opening or centering time involving music or prayer practices and then moved into a Dwelling in the Word.  Focusing on the gospel reading from the previous Sunday, participants hear the reading from two different sources and two different readers.  As they hear the Word, they listen for words, phrases, or images that pop out to them.  During the reading images are shown, brought each week by curators who find artwork that brings new and different layers to the readings.  After some time for discussion we move onto Dwelling in the World where the reading is presented once more as images connect the story to current events.  After the discussion of Dwelling in the World, we move into a piece of music or song offered by the music curator that ties into the reading or themes that emerged during the discussion.  To wrap up the evening a Work of the People video, or another good video resource, is used to illuminate the message, and finally participants partake in an ending blessing from authors such as Sarah Bessey, Jan Richardson, and Thomas Merton.

While technology has its limitations, and nothing can ever replace a physical gathering, ReFrame has been a sacred time and place for spiritually hungry people during this historic time.  As with so many others navigating this new format of social connection, there was a lot to learn about the details of managing Zoom and Facebook, but it has gone very smoothly and provided an ideal venue for weekly connection, ritual, education, and edification.  The group has remained steady at between 5 and 8 participants, creating an intimate space for open, honest, and raw discussion. 

Jane Johnson, Pastor and Priest
Beloved Community of Intercession Episcopal and Redeemer Lutheran Churches
900 Brilowski Rd.
Stevens Point, WI 54482
(715) 341-3233

The Rev. Canon
Stephanie Spellers

Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Creation Care

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Sarah Alphin

Associate for Church Planting and Evangelism

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