The Parishes of Adelong and Tarcutta found the lockdowns and restrictions to be quite stressful. Like all parishes, the members experienced a lot of uncertainty, not being able to worship or meet together, and losing that sense of fellowship that the Body of Christ brings. This also coupled with not being able to see family and friends.
2020 was the big lockdown, and this year has seen only two smaller lockdowns, although the harsh restrictions have still existed.
Nevertheless, the parishes overcame the fragmentation of the Church with a lot of initiatives and activities. These kept the fellowship and the bonding in place.
One way was the implementation of ‘Mobile Holy Communion’. It was Communion by Extension, but in a slightly modified form. As the saying goes ‘Necessity is the mother of invention!’ Many small plastic cups were purchased by a donation, and these cups contained sealed grape juice, with a sealed top containing the bread wafer. They were consecrated in worship. Being then placed in a small cellophane bag, with a header, these were placed in letter boxes or given at the front door.
The Holy Communion was accompanied with the weekly newsletter, or other information and devotionals.
The church website, which was only launched three months before the 2020 lockdowns, came in handy to communicate with us all. It consisted of Reverend Ken’s sermon, his weekly newsletter, and other news and information for the parishes. Many parishioners would copy and print the sermon and newsletter and distribute to those without internet.
Many people also received Ken’s weekly email, which contained the latest COVID news, sermon summary, Cultural Comments, devotional, YouTube links, and other links to parishes who did Sunday streaming.
Our lockdowns also increased telephone calls that we made to each other to keep in contact. This enabled us to share, to pray with each other, and to keep each other informed. The phone was also handy for texting, to support each other, and even for sending internet links to various resources.
During the smaller lockdowns this year we distributed small hampers to folk who were isolated or lonely.
One of the advantages of lockdowns was the opportunity to do some church maintenance. St Paul’s Adelong had renovations completed inside the church, St Mark’s Tarcutta built a great disability ramp to the front entrance to replace the steps, and St Paul’s Adelong had a new sound system put in place.
As with all parishes in the Diocese, the lockdowns and restrictions has led us into different and alternative ways of doing church.
God always supplies, even in difficult circumstances. We are reminded of Joshua 1:9 ‘Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’
Most of these new ways we still continue with today. God always supplies, even in difficult circumstances. We are reminded of Joshua 1:9 ‘Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’