From the Minister
From the Minister
August Herald 2020
As I write this we are into the last week of the summer term and the holidays are about to begin, a great relief for Joshua and for James and I who have been “promoted” to teachers for the last four months of home schooling. I have to say that all teachers deserve medals generally and especially for balancing in-school teaching and supplying material for home schooling over the past few months!
School holidays this year, however, pose a different challenge. There will be no family holiday as the trip we had planned with friends is postponed until next year, no visits to relatives, no holiday clubs and trips out need military level planning. We are holidaying at home and the challenge is to make things as exciting as they can possibly be – nights camping in the garden are planned, as are days spent imagining we are visiting different countries and eating and playing accordingly. We also have an ideas jar with suggestions from board games to bike rides, for when things get desperate. COVID planning has necessitated a little more flexibility and imagination.
As we begin to think and plan for a return to worship, flexibility and imagination are also going to be watchwords. Although we will delight in being together again in one place to worship God, the reality will be very different from what we are used to. We will be unable to sing hymns or share the peace with a handshake and communion will be received in bread only. These changes will remain for as long as is needed for everyone to be kept safe and online worship will continue too.
We will need to adapt and, although it may feel strange, this is no bad thing. It gives us a chance to assess what is truly important and to focus on those things. It also gives us the opportunity to try new methods and to reach out in new ways. We have been grateful for online worship over the past few months and this has enabled many to access services who would not otherwise have been able to. We need to keep the best of what we have learnt during lockdown and allow it to enrich our gathered worship.
God says to Isaiah “See the former things have taken place and new things I declare” . Our God is the Lord of yesterday, today and tomorrow and is able to weave something special out of whatever we offer to Him. God is constant and faithful. He doesn’t change and that gives us the freedom to be able to do so, knowing that He will always be there.
So, as we move into the ‘new normal’, let’s bless God for the changes that make it possible for us to worship safely and for the new ways that have reached new disciples. Let’s embrace the best of what we have learnt and not be in too much of a hurry to pick up activities just because ‘we’ve always done it this way…’ Let us allow God to declare a new thing in us!