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Whether we are in leadership in our local congregation or not, we all have hopes and dreams for our church.  It may be something like it becoming a beacon of hope across our community where people are able to grow in their faith. 

On the other hand, we may want it to be there for the important milestones in our family life — births, marriages and deaths. Although these differ, each one is a vision for the life of the church into the future. 

The arrival and continuation of COVID-19 has disrupted our lives in so many ways and has prevented us from joining together in worship in our buildings. We do not know what things will look like further down the road as the pandemic is controlled, and we have no idea when we will be able to use our buildings again. 

In addition, we cannot say if we will be able to gather for small groups, but not for services. It is like trying to do a puzzle with half the pieces missing. 

Last week I was on a series of conference calls with members of the House of Bishops, and as part of the event, we had a presentation from Canon Dawn Davis. She has developed a discipleship program called Revive, which is very comprehensive, Canadian and Anglican, and I recommend it to you.  

During her talk, Dawn asked two very simple questions, and I think we will all do well to reflect on them: 
• What dreams and hopes for church are diminishing? 
• What dreams and hopes for church are emerging? 

The ways in which we have had to respond to our present situation have led us to have to learn some things quickly. We have also needed to let go of things as well.

What do we know we will continue with when things get back to “normal?” What might we not need to bring back when things change again? What have we noticed that needs to be added? 

We can all come up with lists of questions and ideas. The lifting of some restrictions last week means that we can see some light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. 

Now is the time for all of us to prepare for what comes next.   

PHOTO CAPTION: Photo taken at the February meeting of Diocesan Council, held in the Parish of St. George. From left: the Rev. David Peer, Bishop David Edwards, Cheryl Jacobs, Archdeacon Brent Ham, the Rev. Chris Hayes. (McKnight photo)  


Kathleen Hunter 6 months ago

I am not sure looking to the future is a good idea right now. We need to live in this moment. We need to be quiet and listen to what the Spirit has to say to us. Planning seems to me to be a way of avoiding and denying what is happening right now because it is too painful to contemplate.

Mary King 6 months ago

I remember you at St. Mary's High Ongar St. James and All Saints

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