While Nova Scotia has been relatively healthy throughout the pandemic, there has been a general feeling of angst and uncertainty in the air. This was heightened by the mass shooting that occurred here last April. The tragedy hit very close to home and intensified the feelings of grief and loss.
Figuring out how to continue to serve and care for our people has therefore been our focus.
We are a rural congregation with a heart for the broader community. Normally we put a lot of time and energy into outreach activities, but with COVID-19, it all came to a screeching halt. However, it has also pushed us into new initiatives. Last June, our Outreach Committee delivered flowers and handmade cards to local group homes, and put together a convoy of 12 cars decked out with balloons, streamers and noise-makers to do a “drive-by” parade past the homes of our Grade 12 graduates. On Halloween they organized the first Milford “Trunk or Treat” in the church parking lot, decorating their cars and giving out candy to about 200 children and parents who showed up in costume.
We also learned how important it was to have a good quality virtual service, and our tech people made that happen. We purchased a new camera, a video mixer, a streaming device and connective cabling, all of which has helped the congregation engage with each other.
Another huge blessing has been our new online and in-person (when permitted) children’s service. Every Sunday we push back the chairs, spread out blankets on the floor, and have church with our young families. It’s a short service with singing, prayer, a brief message and a blessing, and it has allowed our children to be involved in ways they never were before. One of our children sends in a short video Bible lesson every week. We have an 11-year-old drummer who plays at each service and other kids who help out by leading the actions for the songs. The service is live-streamed on our YouTube channel.
It has been a difficult year to be sure, but also an opportunity to think more deeply about what church really is. My hope is that we will uncover an even deeper desire to serve Jesus, as we serve one another.
Read the other stories of our second Easter apart: