There is an emerging semblance of normality as members make their way back to church. It has been a true tonic to see people’s smiling faces, share a wave from afar or engage in a bit of banter. It has also been brilliant to welcome people in person back into the sanctuary and onto the back lawn for worship. As the weeks and months go by, there will be many more opportunities for all of us to gather and engage with parish life in ways that are as old as the hills, and somewhat new at the same time.
For example, this Saturday, we are holding a one-off, pop-up outdoor sale in the church parking lot that is bound to be as welcoming and fun as any indoor sale has ever been. This Sunday, church school will be held on the rectory porch and promises to be a lovely gathering for teachers and children as the mysteries of faith are revealed through Godly Play lessons set for the Easter season. Later on Sunday, Fran and I very much look forward to hosting a Connected Parenting dinner, the first one in over a year. These are all small but significant signs that the Holy Spirit moves in our midst, in a way that feels markedly different than just one month ago.
Perhaps you, too, have a sense that the Holy Spirit is stirring you to come back to church. All I can say is, please do, in a way that is right for you. What I can promise you is a very warm welcome and all the obvious and intangible benefits of seeing old friends, in what feels like a very long time.
Onward in hope,
Gareth Evans serves as the rector of St. Barnabas. He is an inspirational leader who brings significant pastoral experience, a depth of reverence in worship, and a relatable preaching style.