Saturday, October 23, 2021

The scaredy church!

During the corona circus here in Australia we have seen the church in almost all its local and denominational manifestations play the 'scaredy-cat'

1. Reaction to the rules.

I don't think any of the conspicuous Christians fought publically for reasonable approaches to meeting together or singing.

The basic precaution would have been: if you are over 65 and have medical risks, stay away, or, perhaps sit at the rear with plenty of separation. Wear a mask and a face shield, don't touch anything.

If you are unwell with a respiratory illness or symptoms, or signs, stay away.

Then, arrange the meeting space for distancing. 

It might also have been good to apply pressure for transparency in the data, presumptions and 'models' the public servants (politicians and officials) and their advisors used. Good science thrives on transparency.

2. Activity under the rules.

In my state, the rules provided plenty of lee-way for continued mission work (I mean work in pursuit of the church's universal mission to make disciples). Clergy could visit people. So, in this emergency, organise three visits a day 5 days each week: 15 people a week, and obviously 60 people a month. That should work for most churches (on average 1 clergy for 60 people in most church groups).

More latterly, 'compassionate' visits were allowed. So, 'senior' church volunteers; wardens, deacons, elders, home group convenors could be 'badged' as pastoral visitors and conduct visits, wearing all the masks and face visors you like, but at least conducting visits and keeping people on an even-keep socially and mentally.

One local church had youth group workers encouraged to exercise with their group members, which was a great thing.

2. Resumption.

Churches should have opened up to in-person services as soon as they were allowed; but most seem to be cautiously tip-toeing to that objective. The 'scaredy-cat' church at work.

We are allowed to have 10 people singing. Opportunity to have 10 people on the stage/at the front singing. Rotate the people for each song so everyone who wants gets a turn at singing!

We are allowed to have up to 20 people at a private home, if they are vaxed. It was previously a smaller number, but either way, organise groups to meet in  the homes of elders/clergy/deacons/wardens/group conductors, etc. Start these groups pronto so people can be in fellowship and read the Bible and pray together.

4. Outreach?

The most creative outreach activity I witnessed was by the Jehovah's Witnesses. Not even Christian, but they found ways to go: letters and cold phone calls to firstly chat and secondly invite to an on-line 'conference' following which other phone calls for chat, and making contacts for 'pairs' exercise.

For single dwellers, offer a 'partner' for visits (allowed by rules) if they didn't have one.

There, just scratching the surface, and creative  people would have cooked up even more options. But I saw basically no options. Just cowering in fear as though this life was all we had.

Islamic terrorists will blow them selves up in pursuit of their mission, because they are not afraid of death. Christians, evidently, are.

What a witness to the world! All we've showed is that we have nothing to offer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.