Life groups, but not as we knew them!
How do you meet under lockdown? By Zoom, of course! Like most people I know, I had never heard of it until about 3 months ago and here we are now using it all the time!
How things change….
We have 5 Life Groups, still flourishing- whereas we usually met every 2 weeks, most of us now have a zoom session every week. We can still share a worship song, pray for each other, have a blether, and explore the Bible together. Perhaps the most important thing is the supportive function of theses groups, especially for those who live alone or have been “shielding”. I spoke to one lady who hadn’t physically met another human being for 12 weeks but was able to “meet” her Life Group friends digitally every week – greatly appreciated! It’s still important to have times of fellowship, where as God’s people we dcan encourage one another in our faith and help each other cope with the challenges of lockdown.
Sometimes dogs make uninvited appearances and steal the show, children make faces in the background, or we forget to “unmute” when speaking….at times the connection falls off, or there is a cacophony of noise when we all try to speak at once. We have learned that singing along to a song is better muted so we can’t hear each other as the different bandwidths of our internet connections make it sound like a cats chorus!
On the plus side, who’s to know if you are still in your pyjama bottoms at 8pm? And isn’t it great that you can still enjoy a cup of tea as you chat together?
I worry that the technology barrier means that some people aren’t able to participate in groups like this, and we all need to be aware of who they are and maintain links by phone or simply knocking on the door to check they are ok. It’s possible to join zoom groups by telephone link though, and we should maybe be trying that option more for those who need it.
The weekly reflection is now delivered to over 20 people in written form to those of the congregation who don’t use the internet – that’s a great idea! There is certainly scope for more people to join the Life Groups we have, and we are always open to the possibility of starting new groups as the demand requires it.
Thank you to all the leaders who have navigated around these challenges to keep the groups going in these difficult times.