I haven't yet found the off switch for my brain, and the time and space afforded by a lockdown maternity leave have sent it into overdrive. All sort of ideas have started to take root, and while I take another KIT day to catch up with college, I thought I would take this chance to share them with you.
I am sure many of us are feeling fatigued by lockdown, and we may need to give ourselves a quiet period of readjustment as we gradually get back to meeting together, so this is by no means a to do list that we are in any rush to get to the end of. I just want to plant some seeds in other imaginations, and see how they grow. I'm really excited about some of these possibilities and I hope they might give some encouragement about the future.
Introduce more interactive elements in services
Worshipping as a family together on our sofa has made me realise both how much our little one is now capable of understanding and how much extra work needs to go into holding his attention, and engaging him has been good for us too. I would like to experiment with including more opportunity for interaction in services, for children and adults alike.
Develop multi vocal worship
It’s been good to hear other people sharing prayers and see other people leading communion, although I understand not everyone is comfortable praying out loud. I would like to find ways to make folk feel more confident in praying and taking on other aspects of leading worship.
Explore a prophetic calling
It became clear early on in the pandemic that more help was being offered than was needed locally, so we weren’t needed to offer practical support in the community, and that made me wonder if we are called to serve in a more prophetic fashion. We already engage with a number of social justice issues, but I would like us to dig deeper and speak louder in this area.
Maintain an online presence
We didn’t expect to have to move online and it’s not been easy but in some ways it has proved to be a blessing, with folk who wouldn’t be able to physically attend anyway now having the chance to engage. We may need to get really creative and learn even more skills if we are to make hybrid church work, but it could open us up to people who would love to join us but can’t get to the building.
Make more of our outdoor space
Those of us fortunate enough to have them have learnt to appreciate our gardens like never before, and it has inspired me to want to make more of our outdoor space at church. I wouldn’t want to lose the large grassed area as it is great for games and parties, but I would like to develop the area at the side of the hall into something like a sensory prayer garden.
Time seems to have stretched and squashed over these past months, and I am learning again a deep appreciation for rhythm. I would like to create our own quasi liturgical calendar from the events we already celebrate, and structure a long term plan for teaching and worship so that we can go deeper through repetition.
Write an ethical charter
We already have commitments to Fairtrade and charity giving and are taking steps to be more environmentally friendly, but there is more we can do and creating a charter for ourselves would hold us accountable and keep us ambitious. This could include commitments made as a church and as individuals, and could invite engagement from wider community.
Keep working on inclusion
We took a huge step forward at our last meeting before lockdown, but being inclusive is an ongoing work. We need to make sure we are visible, and keep our view as broad as possible.
So there are some of the dreams and schemes that have been growing through the wakeful nights and busy days of new parenthood. I wonder which might blossom, and if there might be a mustard seed among them. I offer them to your own thoughts and prayers, and let's see what we might nurture into bloom between us.