The single voices were a little unsure at the start, and our singing was a little raw. The sound might drop in and out, and some of us have connected by the phone. Some of us pull up a space on our couches, and tune into a YouTube channel. Some of us connect into multiple worship times and spaces from all around the country. Some of us join a live Facebook feed of worship.
We are arranging meetings with the use of technology. Making sure that those who aren’t connected with technology aren’t missed out. With all the precautions needed, we look out for those who are vulnerable in our community.
We are rising to the challenge of our times and embracing ways of being God’s called people with adaptive and creative measures. Our sacred spaces have shifted from the communion table and baptismal font in a building locked for the majority of time, to our coffee tables, kitchen tables, or desks. We break bread in our own homes as we gather differently, but no less connected. We celebrate the richness of God’s good story in our lives and history in different ways.
We are listening to different voices bring their sense and experience of who they know God to be. Stories of God at work over a long time in people’s lives. Stories of young people exploring who God is for them as they question and ponder meaning in the light of our current day’s experiences.
What are we discovering in these times? What is coming to light as we journey differently together? What it the sense of who God is that is emerging? Whose stories are helping us make sense of where we are now? Whose voices will help guide us into the way we might need to be next? What opportunities are being presented to us in this time? How is God using us, using me, in this? What I am learning about who God is? What are we learning together?
I joined in the worship time over zoom with the Derwent Cluster. If their experience of worship is like others, sometimes fumbling, sometimes with chaos of sound and vision, sometimes with cautious effort of single voices leading singing and no musical instruments to hide behind, sometimes with earnest prayers from the heart, then I am so proud of who we are in this present day. We know who God is for us, we know our experience of God in our lives. It is rich, deep, raw, and real. This is the sense of God that the world needs right now. I have had so many conversations with shop staff while out getting essentials, that involved talking about God. The world is open to the possibility. Test the curiosity for God when you next go out. As Alison Overeem from Leprena reminds us – we are experts in our own story. The story you hold of God, is always important, real, worthwhile and just what someone else may need to hear about as they live out their own story.
God works and is working beyond the constraints of our buildings. And we are living it, growing in it and being surprised by it. This is the kingdom of God! Let’s keep going!
Denise Savage, Presbytery Minister for Leadership Formation
If you would like Denise to listen and share around leadership formation, contact Denise 0427 647 395 or firstname.lastname@example.org.