Touching Base

I am writing this piece for September’s Oscailt magazine. It is a while since physical copies of Oscailt were left on the table in the hall (a small number at the church) – Covid 19 has changed our world far more than I had envisioned last March. Then I expected the church to close for about a month and that we would take up where we left off. Now I know that we are in this for the foreseeable future and we must adjust to doing church differently.
          We have been inventive in responding to lockdown holding services via zoom. We also Zoom meditation services, meetings of the Managing Committee, meetings of the Book Club and of course Zoom virtual coffee was a genuine lifeline during the days of intense lockdown. To all our techies that have guided us through this process thank you all so much.
          In July the church re-opened for services but with a much reduced capacity and the necessity for safety protocols. Again thanks to the stewards who do this important work on Sundays. I feel that everyone who has come in person on Sunday found returning to be unexpectedly emotional especially so when they hear the organ! However we miss having a good crowd present and I particularly miss hearing well loved hymns sung with enthusiasm.
          However, we must work with the current situation and we must look for new ways we can nurture and sustain the congregation. It is vital that our liberal, inclusive faith survives with strength after the Covid pandemic. Attending church is a habit and when the habit is broken it is easy to let things drift. All Church congregations are facing challenges ours included.

How can we improve how we are doing church right now?

Do you have suggestions for how we can be more effective?

Do you have a talent we could use to nurture the congregation?

          It is difficult to plan ahead but we need to think of different ways to make our services special. I am thinking of our carol and Christmas day services how can we make these services special, more inviting and more inclusive?
          On a personal note I have had to have my knee surgery repeated and this time I am glad to say that it feels right, so I now feel more energised as we settle into the autumn living with a horrible virus yet determined to nurture our community.

All ideas and offers of help welcome.

Rev.Bridget Spain
Minister Dublin Unitarian Church