When a crisis arises, and life changes suddenly, there are really only two options – change the way you approach life or allow life to come to a standstill.
Leaders seek ways to surmount obstacles, and then turn those obstacles into learning experiences, and this is the course of action we have tried to take at Ranelagh Church during the COVID-19 crisis. From the outset of the more stringent measures brought into place in mid-March, we have been striving to keep ministry flowing.
- The Cuisle Centre begun by distributing ‘cocoon packs’ to elderly and vulnerable members of the community known by the Centre.
- The Children’s Ministries Department dreamed up the idea of sending real ‘letters from God’ to each child in their church community every week. This included a special activity to do realising that children also have fears and uncertainties at this time but are loved and cared for by God just as much now as they ever were.
- The leadership team of pastor and elders meet once a week online to work through the initial stages of our transition into a Natural Church Development model of ministry.
- The worship and tech teams work together to bring worship services directly into each person’s home each week.
- The Sabbath School continues its programming with Russian, Spanish and English adult Classes; and now a children’s Sabbath School bringing classes across the age-groups online.
- The Youth Ministries’ team provide online Week of Prayer meetings during the week and bring teens & young adults together for social ‘meet-ups'. The weekly bible studies continue every Sabbath afternoon, and the choir continues to get together for fellowship.
It’s true – the COVID-19 crisis has brought fear and anxiety into the lives of many, including Adventists. But at times of fear, we can seek God’s wisdom and guidance about how to turn obstacles into opportunities, and how to turn fear into hope. The medium by which we function as a church community may have changed, but the church is still the church – God’s people; everywhere. People of hope. People of action. People willing to adapt, learn, and grow. All under the guidance and leadership of the One who is the Author of Salvation. #wearethechurch