This confinement is for us a real “juggling”: how to continue to be the visible Church, in implantation, in the era of confinement?
An answer which for us has proved to be meaningful can be the following: to remove the superfluous, to return to the source, to focus on the essential.
For a few weeks now, the benches are empty, but on the other hand, the Church Le Clocher is really alive and the adaptation was rather easy, because:
- We did only one big gathering a month
- We focused on relationships/activities on weekdays and more frequently
- We had reduced the number of ministries to make it simple
- We prefer smaller meetings for the formation discipleship.
Although our DNA allowed us to make a transition without too many difficulties, organizing in a concrete way was brainstorming.
Easter 2020 was a subject of great joy for our hearts. Firstly, because a large number of assemblies (of different denominations) have united through the “together” movement, and this unity of Christians is particularly important to us even outside this crisis situation. This movement was able to reach people who do not attend the celebrations in normal times, and we know some examples among our relationships! Glory be to God.
So, it prompted us to think: how to be a blessing for our neighbours and our city in these times of distancing? In this context, we were able to set up a car/bike/walk rally in the city whose name was: hunting rainbows. ! Here is the promotional video of this successful event:
The purpose of the hunt is to find letters and put them in the right order to finally find the secret phrase: I am with you. The participants were entitled to their gourmet reward as well as a nice bookmark that reminds us that Jesus is with us every day.
2. Connection / Relationship Board games
Reaching out through the Gospel those who are far from God
How do we maintain relationships during confinement? By calling our hairdresser, our massage therapist, our Chirotherapist, our mechanic, our cashier, the people who work in health care.
In this momentum, 2 relationships have opened up to the Gospel and we believe that they are very close to accepting Jesus as their teacher. Jesus calls people to himself, even during confinement. In the same vein we are thinking about how to implement the 2 baptisms that should take place shortly, do not hesitate to share your ideas with us!
With the creativity that God gives us, we found/ adapted some board games that we can do in the web conference (Codename, clan warfare, undercover, and others! These games are part of our best support to continue spending time with families and continue our walk with them.
3. Week Program and Bible Study
Our priority as an assembly is not to encourage more consumption of teaching (whose offer is widely present on the networks) but to move towards a more interactive mode, where one can participate and gather the members of the body of Christ around a biblical book, in order to study each chapter together and encourage one another to obey and put into practice what God asks us to do. These biblical meetings have led Quebecers to meet with French via the internet, and so we have the opportunity to train disciples in France so that in turn they can reproduce such meetings at home!
Children are also part of our priorities as a Church, and we solicit them during our regular “children’s areas” during which faith, fun and improvised dance are at the rendezvous!
In view of the energy and time that these meetings require of us in weeks, we encourage our members to connect with partner churches on Sunday morning, who do a very good job and are equipped to provide quality celebrations, but it is true that we are thinking about the possibility of returning to service on Sunday morning as well. Let us pray that God will direct us for this.
The group that is most effervescent and that reaches the most people who live far from God remains the group of teenagers. We take advantage of the fact that teens are in their elements (social networks and increased connectivity) to organize games/testimonies/themes evenings (the next date: If God exists, why suffering?). These times spent with them build a group dynamic that we look forward to continuing and we know that God will exploit these relationships to attract young people to Him!
5. A good coffee with friends!
We try to preserve our Fridays to make them accessible to our neighbours or other relationships that revolve around our family (teachers...) to connect with them, to have a coffee, a tea, a glass of wine or a beer, sometimes using discussion topics.
6. Eyes on Fall 2020
We live week after week at the rhythm that God dictates, cultivating our dependence on him, and we already dream of this autumn, keeping in mind that perhaps, physical gatherings will not yet be allowed! 😉
Back to the future:
Perhaps you have already seen the film “back to the future”. In the end Dr. Brown returns from the future to warn Marty. His flying car that allows him to travel back in time lands in front of Marty’s house, and he basically says, "Marty, you have to do something about your kids," and we see them going together into the future to see what happens, and thus return to the present to raise them differently.
Imagine if you were shown your catastrophic future, I’m sure it would impact your present and try to do everything in the present, to change your future. That’s exactly it: Doc takes Marty to the future so he can live his present differently.
Jesus does the same thing as Doc. Like Doc, Jesus tells us, “this is your future: you will live with me, in a new creation, you will be new creatures, and we will always be in perfect communion, in joy and peace”. Unlike the film, the future that awaits us is filled with hope.
Jesus is the future reality of those who put their trust in him, and one day we will live with him in a perfect world. We know our future, and he’s more than happy. And our hope, the knowledge that it will happen in the future, should impact our way of living in the present.
And there is even better: Jesus, while waiting to find us, gives us his spirit, so that we can live differently, not by our forces because we are not able, but by the power of God in us !
It’s good for me to remember this when we’re in this uncertain situation, because we all have questions/doubts/fears about the near future or the far future, but it’s good to know that in the present God lives in me and that I am assured of having a perfect future!
We love you our friends !
Together we are stronger !