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Pastor's pen 28th June 2020 - Innovate

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Clearly, in a global sense, we are far from being 'Post-Covid.' The desire to open borders more comprehensively will be some way off by anyone's reckoning. It does seem somewhat incredible that up to fifty people were given compassionate leave from border quarantine without being administered a virus test. Even the least scientifically minded of us would see this as pretty strange. Hopefully now the military are in charge systems will work better.

In my personal experience of the public service, each department or entity has it's own culture which is difficult to shift in an innovative manner. If the prevailing ethos is personal choice and individual rights, the the need for rules and rigid procedures doesn't easily take hold. Handing the baton of border integrity from the Ministry of Health to the military will be a good thing in these times, in my view. Taking orders and following schedules is normal for them. Perhaps they should have employed them in the first place.

While most of the world still seems to be in the throes of increasing virus transmission, we are processing how lock-down is enabling us to think and work innovatively in the future. Of course many businesses and organisations are struggling financially. The jury is out on which ones will make it through. How we envision the church is part of this for many of us.

The 2010-11 Christchurch earthquakes thrust many from our Presbyterian family into a place of re-evaluation and innovation. When the trauma settled many faith communities found themselves having conversations that they could only have imagined before. They re-shaped mission and ministry with change as the new norm.

Let us neither assume nor desire that everything returns to normal. Levels 4-3 alert / isolation provided an opportunity for prayerful reflection for many. Church felt disrupted for others. We have not returned to the numbers we were seeing this time last year. As with any crisis, how we respond is important. As each person has a different personality and circumstance so their response will be different. Yet I believe there is an invitation from the Holy Spirit to innovate. Lock-down encompassed Lent, Easter and Pentecost. God was and is doing a work here. What is our part?

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