Depending on which hemisphere we live in, we are about to have one of the two equinoxes. When daytime and nighttime are equal and balanced. However, our lives continue to be anything but balanced. Governments struggle to balance freedoms against the spread of the coronavirus.
Churches have begun to reopen under strict safety guidelines but this has brought a fresh set of challenges for those in ministry. In many situations, the solidarity of the early weeks of lockdown has given way to fatigue and a spirit of impatience or complaining. Numbers may be lower, worries about budgets, lack of fellowship over coffee, complaints that worship is not ‘as we like it to be’, and worries about what the future holds. And who is responsible when unauthorised leaders organise house groups, singing activities or unofficial acts of worship that break the rules but could be seen as sanctioned by the church?
As Hubbers have shared their thoughts and concerns one expression has been consistent ‘it’s not just me then!’ The Hub has shown the benefits of an online community during these testing times.
It is possible that like Israelites in the Old Testament the church has become a ‘faithful remnant’. Understandings of the authenticity of online church is getting serious thought (even if it is a bit late in the day for disability and second life groups who have been learning and working in this space for a long time)! There are positives but there are many issues and those in ministry are leading church communities through rapid and dramatic change.
For some, lockdown has broken the habit of ‘going’ to church, but if old habits can die then so can new ones be created. In the Hub, there is lament for what is passing, mutual support for the present, and some green shoots of creative energy for the future.
And as for balance? Most of us don’t feel very balanced at the moment, but the Hub community can be an anchor at the equinox or any other time.
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restoring humanity to clergy discipline