We are being asked to do some “social distancing”: staying at home as much as possible, and maintaining physical distance (minimum 2m/6ft) from people from other households when we’re out. Some of us are in “quarantine”: staying at home for 2 weeks because we’ve recently traveled outside Manitoba, or because we think we might have been exposed to COVID-19. None of us, yet, are in “self-isolation,” but that might come: staying home because we have contracted the virus.
This is hard, but necessary, for us to follow these mandates from health officials. How can we stay connected with other people, people we love? How can we stay connected as a church, our community of faith whom we love?
Here are a few ideas. These move from lower-tech to higher-tech, but even if you’re not a “techie,” read on! You can figure this out, or we or someone you know can help you.
1) You can pray. Maybe that sounds “too spiritual” in a time of pandemic. But we believe that we are all connected by the Spirit who is within us and among us, and when we pray, even with “wordless groans” because we don’t have the words, the Spirit works within us and among us, across any distance, to bring encouragement and strength and comfort and peace and joy (Romans 8:14-39). Please pray for each other. Pray by name, recalling each face. And see the church website for some prayer resources just posted today.
2) You can call someone up and go for a walk with them. Social distancing measures mean that people from different households should maintain a 2m/6ft distance between each other. But you can still walk and talk 2 metres apart! As the weather gets warmer, take advantage of that by going for a walk with a friend from church.
3) You can call someone up on your phone and talk. You can send them a text or an email and start a conversation thread with them that way. That MMCer who sits on the same pew as you? That friend from church you haven’t talked with for a couple weeks? Contact them and ask how they’re doing, what they’re up to, what they’re reading/crafting, what they’re thinking about through all this.
We were in the middle of updating our church directory when COVID-19 hit. Our 2018 directory is our most current. If you have any changes to the directory since then—you’re not in it but you’d like to be, you’re in it but you’d like to not be, you’ve moved or changed phone or email since then—please let Robyn know in the church office.
4) You can keep up with church notices, find church resources, and participate in church “virtual worship services” online.
The church Facebook page is updated most often with updates and links. If you’re on Facebook, go to our Facebook page here and click to “Like” and “Follow” Morden Mennonite Church. If you “Like” and “Share” individual posts, more people will see them. If you find you are not seeing all MMC’s Facebook posts, you can go to “News Feed Preference” under “Settings,” and add Morden Mennonite Church to your “Prioritise who to see first” list.
The church website is where the “virtual worship services” will be posted each week. This website is also the main online hub for information about “COVID-19 and MMC,” for resources for spiritual growth during this time of physical separation, and the like. Church services and resources are under “Blog/Sermons/Services,” and COVID-19 updates are under “COVID-19 and MMC.”
If you want an email update every time the church website is updated, you can sign up for that service: scroll down, the sign-up is on the right side.
5) You can meet together virtually by video call. This allows you to see the other person’s face, to see their smiles and facial expressions. Have someone else (or a whole family!) “over to your house” for after-supper tea by video call. Play a game with someone else by video call. Knit together with someone else by video call. Have a book club by video call. Read Scripture or pray together by video call. Care groups, set a time aside each week when you meet up by video call. Committees, consider using Zoom to meet.
Here are a few options, with links to “how-to” information and videos:
+ FaceTime (for Apple products): info here
+ Facebook Messenger (for both Apple and Android): info here
+ Zoom (especially good for multiple individuals to meet, free for short meetings): info here
Let’s stay connected as a church! Grace and peace to you through these trying times.