Aug 30, 2021 Michael Bishop covid-19 church practices

One of the items on my lockdown list finally got a look-in this week. For the last 18 months, I’ve been telling myself that this would be the ideal time to pick up my acoustic guitar again and see how much my stiff fingers remember. Although I haven’t played much in the last few years, it turns out that the problem is not what the fingers remember. The real problem is that the callouses I used to have on my fingertips are long gone, and pressing soft fingers against thin metal wires makes for very short practice sessions … Sadly, there are no shortcuts to building up those callouses - the only way to toughen up the fingers is to keep playing.

The last eighteen months have disrupted life on every possible level – the way we interact socially, how much we travel, the way that we shop, the amount of time we spend in front of screens, and our sense of connectedness to a local church community. And the disruption of all those familiar rhythms makes for a lot of soft fingertips :) - many areas of our lives where we need to be very intentional about building up callouses again.

For the majority of us the area where we need to be most intentional probably has to do with connecting to people – making sure that we are staying in touch with family and friends, making the effort to connect to our church family, and making space to connect to God (which can be especially difficult without the supporting communal gatherings that have previously fed into that relationship). I know too that when it comes to connecting with the church, this has been a particularly tough time for young families – TV church for children holds limited appeal! This too will pass :) and in the meantime we are planning fun ways of allowing our children to connect in community.

But we keep working on connecting – so, a major highlight for me each week is seeing your faces (and imagining the faces of those of you online). This helps to remind me that I belong to a community. Even under lockdown level 3 :)