We've been talking for nearly two years about 'getting back to normal', haven’t we? We're not there yet, but last Sunday's service felt to me a lot closer to 'normal' than we've been throughout the pandemic. Yes, we were still masked and smearing our hands with sanitizer, but we had two well-attended services and, especially encouraging for me was the number of children/youth who were back in our 08h30 service.
Children seem to be so resilient and able to cope with a rapidly changing environment, but the pandemic has made their experience of church very difficult and disrupted. While we were all content to grab a cup of coffee and join in the services online, watching church on TV was initially interesting for children but not sustainable for months on end - I saw this firsthand in our family :)
Rose and Ozzy and our team of volunteers have worked so hard over the duration of the pandemic: recording Godly Play stories for YouTube and meeting online, but it has been difficult and at times discouraging for them. So, seeing our UMC children back together with the team on Sunday was fantastic!
Speaking of children, it’s been lovely to participate in two baptisms over the last week (we welcomed Emily Gibson last weekend and little David Mansfield this morning) and also to meet Mbongeni and Khanya Mabuza’s little boy in our thanksgiving service last week. These little ones in our community should have us looking around the church building and asking how we can make our space more welcoming to young families. We have some thoughts about using the foyer as a cry room – speak to Rose if you can help or have any ideas.