Church Life Update 1
One of the resolutions coming out of the second part of the Annual Church Meeting (ACM) that took place on Sunday, 31st January 2021, was for there to be more communication to let people know what is going on in the life of the church during this time. To that end, St George’s released a video of encouragement for Lent Week 1, the first of others to come, so we can be Community Together.
Here are some highlights:
“I thank God for the love and care that is being shown throughout our congregation,” began Revd John. “I hope this video and those to come will be encouraging and let you see that, although we cannot meet together in the way that we would like, God is still here, God is still active, and St George’s is still Church. I praise God for each and every one of you.”
Denise explains that Sunday School is now being called Children’s Time, but no matter what it is called, “the journey continues with the children”. Denise keeps in regular contact with the parents and volunteers on her list, sending them classes each week that she has created using the Scripture Union resources for each age group.
There is a children’s church meeting online once a week on different evenings, depending on people’s availability. Like everyone, we have all had to get used to using Zoom overnight, but “the online sessions are proving very popular” and Denise is finding “new ways to engage the children with online activities, like quizzes, to reinforce their learning.”
“At Christmas, you no doubt saw the amazing video we put together, with the children and parents participating to produce a fun online activity. Gemma put all the videos together in a very professional way.”
“It is amazing how we learn to adapt or change with the circumstances,” Denise says. “This year has definitely been a challenge, but it has brought me closer to God, and hopefully the same for the children, too.”
Reflecting on the past few months, Jimmy says he has been thankful for the opportunity to spend more time with his family and to be more spiritual, explaining that he and Juliana get up an hour earlier each day for a time of meditation, reflection and prayer. “We ask the Lord to be present in our day. It also inspired me to come back onto the Church Council. I look forward to serving the church in the best way possible.”
Jenny talks about the WhatsApp groups that she set up, so that people can pray together “for the purpose of supporting each other in this time of COVID.”
She tries to keep each group fairly small, so that people will feel comfortable sharing any personal problems that they might be going through.
“We pray for each other and we share our concerns. People also ask for prayer for the bigger community of the church. I think it has been quite successful. People have got to know each other a bit better. I hope that it has helped and will continue to help people.”
Contact Jenny if you would like to join one of these groups.
Rachel from the Events Team recalls the virtual Christmas Fayre and Raffle that was held, which was “an opportunity for us to continue, even in a small way, some of the usual St George’s traditions and hold some events for our community.”
Rachel also hosts the weekly Virtual Coffee Hour on Zoom (Sundays at 5pm). “It’s an informal space for us to come together, check in with one another, and just see each other face to face.” There are 8-12 participants each week, with some former St George’s members now living in different countries occasionally popping in to say hello, “which has been wonderful.”
“During Lent, we will be having 5-minute devotions led by different members of our community during the weekly Virtual Coffee Hour.”
Revd Deborah closed by thanking Denise, Jimmy, Jenny and Rachel, and inviting any new ideas or initiatives. “We hope these will encourage you.”
“The Lord bless you and keep you. Make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. Lift up his countenance upon you and give you his peace. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
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