‘Pardon? Can you say that again please?’ (Part 1)

Did you know that at times I can speak quite quickly? I know it may have escaped your attention but there are times when I can gabble quite a bit and people then say ‘Pardon? Can you say that again please?’

If you are sitting comfortably, let me tell you the story why I can gabble so.

When I was around 7 or 8, I thought it would be brilliant if I spoke quickly. I had given it careful thought because to my young mind speaking quickly was something adults did and I so wanted to be thought more grown up than I was. Little did I realise that for the next 50 years I would be asked this familiar question again and again and again and – well you get the drift.

One of the reasons I wanted to speak quickly was because my mind doesn’t. I thought that if I spoke quickly, then my mind would work quicker too as it tried to keep up with my mouth. However, over the years I’ve discovered that however awesome my mind may be, it only works at one speed; ie slowly.

It works slowly because it likes to chew things over and over and over again to clarify and make manageable what it’s thinking about. One of the things I enjoy doing is reflecting on and over and through things that I may get to grips with what it is thinking about the best I can.

By now, if you’ve read this far, you’re wondering why am I telling you this? It is because we as a church are going to have to think long and hard about who we are to be and how we are to live as a church within this ongoing Covid-19 situation. Our worship as a church will continue to revolve around our weekly YouTube service complemented by the limited worship we are able to host in our building. Our families, youth and children’s ministry is thoroughly on line as we’ve seen with Holiday Club, Hope and Light, Embrace and the younger families. Our Fellowship Groups are now meeting on Zoom and our building is out of commission for the vast majority of what we used to do and it will be so for the foreseeable future.

What this has meant is that we need to ask, as I have been doing for the last few months, ‘What are we to look like as a church now?’ We can no longer do as we have always done because Covid-19 won’t let us but also because I don’t think Jesus is letting is letting us to either. Like our church in the 1870’s who were told to move and discovered that Jesus had gone before them, so will we.

In 1871 they moved a building, for us it is about moving as a family, as a household of faith. What will this mean? I don’t fully know yet because, as I may have said before, my mind moves very slowly.

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