Generally, the pandemic has everyone short of nerve, and easily annoyed. The stress factor is obviously carried from the personal to group behavior. As pastor, I am asking for additional effort be expended to ensure we establish and maintain a gracious gathering across the many small groups that take place. On top of the COVID factor, there is the challenge of an internet environment under which we exist in small groups which subject us to further risk of disharmony and disaffection.
1. Our small groups do not gather to group think. It is not our goal to agree. The natural tendency in these conflictual times is to long for agreement and to be annoyed should that not occur. Be reminded that our goal is simply to share and listen. Then we move along, without anxiety, should the conservation reach a dead end. “OK then. What’s next?” is a helpful mantra.
2. If we are not agreed with, there is no reason to take it personally. That would be unhelpful. Humans can disagree without being disagreeable. A lighthearted, taking -ourselves-less-seriously approach is the only approach. On this, you should all agree (kidding)!
It takes intentionality to be gracious, forbearing other’s verbal and technical trespassing, and being present to a group through the flawed medium of internet communications. Intentional graciousness, happily enough, is a charism well known and practiced among us already. We just need to dial it up.
To take advantage of this time apart, some in our parish have expressed an interest in using this time to gain remotely a new skill, strengthen an existing talent, investigate a new hobby, or delve deeper into a new area of interest. Some lack the motivation to do so or don’t know where to start.
Now live - the CHS School is linked under Formation on the menu and includes links to the current offerings!
This is an opportunity for all ages to teach and learn!
Recognizing that many among us may have gifts and graces to share with others, Judy Linger has agreed to help match folks with remote “classes” (applied loosely) to offer, with members interested in growth.
Some examples: Marge Keller agreed to help with learning conversational Spanish if the interest is there. Fr. Phil indicated he’s willing to broaden our understanding of The Book of Common Prayer. Perhaps one of our gifted photographers could help us improve our photo compositions. Any history buffs interested it sharing fun facts, especially regarding local sights? All done remotely, of course.
To kickstart this effort, please leave your thoughts about what you can share and when you are available with firstname.lastname@example.org. It need be no more than one or two sessions but might continue as long as interest remains and folks are willing to teach or learn.
It’s true that much can be learned through YouTube or the Internet these days but such offers no opportunity for back and forth dialogue. Our current separation makes human interaction so much more precious and meaningful. As Fr Phil stated Sunday, interacting remotely when we know each other yields rewards we don’t anticipate
To get your creative juices flowing, here are some suggestions for “classes” you might like to teach or join:
Do you knit? Crochet? Do origami? Paint or sculpt? Scrapbook? Quilt? Bake? Do you want to learn how to tie beautiful bows for packages? Arrange scarves to good effect? Play the recorder? The harmonica? We can take advantage of our access to shared on-line programs like Zoom to connect safely with others in meaningful ways. God gives us the talent. Why waste it?
From the Church of England's "Thy Kingdom Come" website, resources for the family during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The last few months have certainly looked very different to normal. For many families, there has been more time to spend together and with the summer holidays swiftly approaching, we wanted to share some of our favourite family based resources with you. Our hope is that you can grow in faith as a family during this time.
Family Adventure Prayer Map
Did you get to complete our Family Adventure Prayer Map? If you haven't, why don't you try it over the summer? If you have, you could try it again and go deeper! Click on the image to find the map!
Family Prayer Adventure Podcast
The Family Prayer Adventure podcasts are a fun and engaging way to help families pray together. At 10-12 minutes long, they feature a game, an interactive Bible story, a chance to pray and great music. Click on the image to hear the podcasts!
Have you got young people in your household? Why not encourage them to work through the devotional series in this year's Prayer Journal which explores the theme 'The Fathers Love'. Click on the image to find the journal.
'Bright Ideas for Families' has some creative and fun activities to help families pray together, such as pebble prayers or rocket prayers! Click here to see more >
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