These weeks and months of disruption to our normal routine bring both challenge and joy in so many different ways. We can rejoice in the learning of new skills and spending more time with our immediate family. We lament the loss of physical contact with wider family and friends, the loss of income and work opportunities for many, and the separation from our school community friends.
It has been wonderful to see the smiling faces of some of our students this week, welcoming back our youngest and oldest girls. It is also great to connect with our other year levels via Google meets and to provide some video chapels for reflection.
In this time of continued uncertainty, it can be challenging to find light and hope. One idea I’ve been tossing around for the last week or so has been about what we will do differently into the future that we would not have considered before if our lives hadn’t been interrupted in such a dramatic way? Do we want to go back to ‘normal’ when it is all over? I’m not sure normal was working as a number of Facebook memes have suggested recently. What have we learnt about ourselves, our humanity and our world that is positive that we could continue even when the pandemic is under control?
While our churches and our school chapel remain closed for public worship there are many ways we can gather together remotely to pray, to sing and to listen to God’s word. Each Anglican parish in Toowoomba is offering online worship either live on Facebook or available on their website. Bishop Cameron is also streaming ‘live at 5’ on Sundays and Wednesdays on Facebook. Follow his page by searching for Cam Venables.
I share the prayer below with you published by the Corrymeela Community in Northern Ireland. I was particularly drawn to the fifth line, asking God to ground us in our kindness.
I invite you to join me in prayer in the coming week:
God who speaks from out of the whirlwind, and hears sighs too deep for words:
as we come to terms with small steps in our timeline for return
and struggle to make sense of the world around us
and imagine what life will be like,
ground us in our kindness.
May a gracious word begin our next encounter,
a patient thought accompany our coming breath,
so that with little left in our control,
we may control ourselves with grace and faith and compassion. Amen.
(With thanks to the Corrymeela Community in Northern Ireland)
Rev’d Sharon Mitchell