“Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4)
This Sunday will be an ambitious step forward for our community, another of many taken this year.
As we celebrate the Feast of St Francis it is an opportunity for us to be reminded about how the online Chapel of St Francis came about and why it will continue.
It wasn’t long into the initial lockdown and the development of an online ministry that we realised that not being centred on the building and physical community was a challenge to our identity. Unlike many of my colleagues locked at home, I had the benefit of living at St Mary’s and therefore had the benefit of doing ministry from St Mary’s, but the immediate problem was the question about how that would impact the Community of the Good Shepherd. And so, the St Francis Chapel was born, a neutral platform to reach both communities without favouring or neglecting either.
Lay Ministry also took a different turn as the role and requirements of ministry changed. Developing a new ministry team under a strict lockdown and with complete uncertainty of the future at every level, made it difficult for many to provide support to the church as their work became so much more difficult and complex and time consuming. The result was that the ministry team and Parish Council were not able to continue as normal, under the pressure of a new way of life. Of course, we all thought it was a 21day interruption and now we know it has a permanence to it.
The time is now to rebuild everything from the bottom up and try and draw people back in. We all need to recommit to our involvement in the community and I have provided three platforms for worship. I am grateful to the small team who have worked exceptionally hard to make this possible.
I encourage you: if you are over 70, join us online. If you have health issues, join us online, if you have the ability to, join us online. And if you absolutely, only have one option and that is to attend Physical services, then attend. But, which-ever way you choose, re-engage. I cannot stress how important it is for this community to stand together and be part of rebuilding the Church.
Join me in pray for Nosipho and family, who are grieving the loss of a husband and father. May God comfort them.
Join me in prayer for all those who are still living in great uncertainty.
Join me in prayer for our students writing exams.
Be assured of my love and prayers.