Opinion: A challenge and opportunity as we embrace the ‘brave new normal’

Rev Ann Easter is facing the 'brave new normal' post-lockdown.

Rev Ann Easter is facing the 'brave new normal' post-lockdown. - Credit: Archant

As the lockdown is gradually unlocked and we move, gently and slowly out of our confinement, I sense that we’re doing it with mixed feelings.

There are so many good and positive things that we’ve gained during the last few months – cleaner air, a renewed love of our parks and I have spent more time with my husband than ever before in 32 years of marriage - and without much yelling!

Faith has taken on a whole new dimension too, because, with all our places of worship closed, we have had to find new ways of being congregation.

Many of us have launched for the first time into electronic worship – it felt very strange for me to celebrate Communion in a church empty of everything except a mobile phone as a camera, but I was aware of centuries of prayer and the whole company of Heaven there with me.

Members of our congregation have kept in touch without actually touching – we have phoned each other, sent encouraging emails and old-fashioned letters and cards.

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But recently, we have been given permission to open our faith buildings; at first, it was just for individual prayer but now we can have a small, socially distanced congregation for a quiet service – no singing!

I hope and pray that, gradually, we will enjoy services with plenty of participants and that we’ll be able to greet each other as we always did and “make our joyful noise to the Lord”.

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There’s no substitute for all being together but now we know how to beam good quality worship into people’s homes as well, especially for those who can’t travel to be with us.

This “brave new normal” is, without doubt, both challenge and opportunity – we grasp those together and, with God’s good grace, we will flourish!

And please don’t forget to listen to my podcast - Oh My Goodness with Aled Jones – a weekly uplifting and joyous half hour.

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