For some long time there did not take place meetings in our ecclesia halls. But having lesser restrictions in civil life, we are also opening the ecclesiae spaces to come together again. Though at the moment we still advise to be very careful and to wear a mouth mask when with many people in a room.
It was great to be able to find so many brothers and sisters willing to meet with others virtually, via the Zoom meetings. It is not the same as a meeting in the hall, but it managed to bring folks from far away places also see each other and pray with each other at regular times. In any case, it showed its value, often having more people at the Zoom meeting than we would ever have in the ecclesia hall.
The times of ‘lockdown’ also brought some time for each person to be on his or her own, able to think about several matters, in a way like being on a retreat. Such a time of introspection gave many an opportunity to reflect on their lives and to dig deeper into their relationships and attitudes to others and to faith.
The last two years several brethren and sisters were confronted with that terrible disease, which brought many on the verge of death and brought several people to mourn over beloved friends.
Some people were pulled down into a spiral of worry and negativeness, getting to feel like there was no way out, nothing more they could do. And this time they could not come close to others to talk about it. Several people had to stay in their own little place of seclusion, in the depths of despair, when hope was all but gone, feeling as if they were stuck, not able to go another step. But for some this also meant they could come to discover what faith actually is. This also made that in our office we had more e-mails about the reasons of life, questions about God and how the world turns around, about ways to come to the truth and about conversions. On the other hand, many churches felt that because of the lockdown many of their flock lost interest in faith and church and were pleased with the additional time at home, not spending time in the Bible or church. Individualism and consumerism have grown in the Covid-period.
The war in Ukraine brought even more people beginning to wonder about the workings of God and what is going to happen to this earth. But that also created the need for people to feel more connected and have opportunities to come together and talk about these things.
Each country had its own Corona measures, but basically, it was all the same, to protect each other they were asked to keep their distance and to wear mouth masks.
This year the observance of the Lord’s Evening meal was only presented to baptised brothers and sisters and their relatives, but again there was some hope to be united with each other all over the world and having again some opportunity with more people than our own family, as well as having the hope we shall be able again to invite non-Christadelphians again the coming year.
As churches consider their return to physical meetings, the need is evident for all those attending to maintain a certain distance from each other for some time to come, especially while the coronavirus remains active and the national vaccination programme is incomplete. Handshakes, and closer expressions of friendship like hugging and kissing, are necessarily to be treated with caution for some time to come.
CSN recently emailed Suggested Guidelines on Social and Physical Distancing when meeting to all church secretaries in the UK.
Read our full email here
It is important to us that we attract and retain exceptional teaching, support and operational staff and are keen to employ team members who hold the same faith and values we hold.
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