I walk up the leaf covered church steps and share a friendly greeting with our welcomers. Moving through the church sanctuary with a greeting, a handshake, a hug brings me a smile and sense of community and belonging. Am I dreaming? Things have changed so much in just a few short months!
The impact of Covid19 has not just been on Sunday services but in all types of gatherings. Not only have times of fellowship been impacted but so too our ability to pastorally care for one another. The elderly and those who are isolated and vulnerable, those who yearn for community and the caring concern of others are heavily impacted. Our desire to reach out and run towards those in need has been strangely tempered by the greater desire to protect their physical wellbeing.
In times like these, I am very grateful for creative thinking and caring people rising to the occasion. Some ways we have adjusted pastoral care in the ‘Covid environment’; our pastoral care team and other volunteers have made regular contact with church folk, via phone calls, text, emails etc., listening and praying in support. Others have offered their time or talent to give encouragement; from making flower arrangements to shopping for Westcare, from writing cards (using ‘snail mail’!) to delivering a care package, to name a few.
As much as technology and even ‘old school’ forms of communication have helped us to keep in contact and have even expanded our reach in many ways, there is no doubt that connecting in person is a special part of being in a community. I never want to take this for granted. As restrictions now begin to ease, we look forward to opportunities to connect face to face (at an acceptable social distance of course!).
In all this we know that God is sovereign and wise, and He is loving and merciful. Let us entrust the ‘road to recovery’ to Him!
“God is too good to be unkind and He’s too wise to be mistaken and when we cannot trace His hand, we can trust His heart.” Charles Spurgeon
In His love,
Sarah (Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash)