So we get to July – summer and the temperature has dropped back! Some things never change, or rather stay ever-change-able!
And some things do change again: after a couple of weeks of opening churches for individual prayer, the government now has given permission for services to happen in churches- albeit with quite a few restrictions and requirements. We only got the information yesterday (Thursday) so we will not be opening for church services this weekend, but we are looking to open up as soon as we can. Watch this space!
Also now permitted are funerals in church, weddings and baptisms- with similar restrictions and requirements. We hope the churches can become again places of worship and community celebration.
We are – like so many others – looking at how we can re-engage.
As all of us know, this last few months has meant deep change, and many people are saying things will never be the same again. The demise of the buffet-bar and shared eating, the re-thinking of office-working and maybe communal spaces, greater caution in more crowded spaces .. and in the shorter to medium term, we are seeing new ways of coping, as schools and businesses look to re-open their premises, and so will churches.
I am reminded that Abraham worshipped God under the trees or by large stones. Moses found God as the people walked through the desert, Solomon built the Temple but Ezekiel and many of the prophets heard God and responded to God from exile or in very different situations again after the Temple had been destroyed.
God can cope with change better than us, and can call us in and from whatever circumstance!
When the People of Israel came out of the wilderness they were faced with an uncertain future; when they came back out of exile in Babylon there were disagreements about how the people should worship, what was needed, what was “right”, and some wanted it back the way it was and some sensed that God was calling for something rather different and new.
There are lessons for us here. And the answers aren’t obvious as we too “haven’t been here before”! Wisdom is and will be needed.
Just to say also that the online resources will continue while we open up the church buildings; please pray for us and please contribute your thoughts. If you can offer to help, that would be much appreciated.