Vicars’ Blog – September 2020 – Sprint, marathon or triathlon?

VICARS’ BLOG: Sprint, marathon or triathlon?

Well, if we thought that come September we would be back to a kind of new normal, we can now see that it’s not quite like that. Yes, children will be back at school (hooray!), but there’s still so much uncertainty about what our lives will look like over the next few months.
Last month we likened the Covid-19 global pandemic to Biblical exile and spoke of disorientation. There has also been loss for all of us. It has been hard not being in church worshipping together and seeing one another – and our clergy thrive on that interaction! We feel for those who have missed milestones such as leaving nursery or primary school or secondary school or have ended university and are now looking for a job. Add to that, major birthdays or anniversaries, operations that have been postponed… add your own losses… We
have all experienced some kind of loss.

And it’s not over yet. We have got through the first stage and now what? In March, the Bishop of London warned that the pandemic would be more of a marathon than a sprint and now, James Lawrence (CPAS) says in fact this is turning into more of a Triathlon than a marathon: having finished the run, we now have a swim and a cycle ahead of us. And that looks daunting. (For those who have missed the open water swimming at Hampton during lockdown, the correct way round is swim first, but that spoils the analogy!)

It does feel like we have run a marathon and we may wonder how we can tackle the next challenges of the swim and cycle. We need to resource ourselves and take on fuel for the next stage of the journey.

 

During lockdown we have been able to access some excellent Christian leadership webinars which have helped us to continue to lead the church effectively. As your leaders, we are resourcing ourselves for our main role – to serve the members of our church family in this time of uncertainty and anxiety. As we look to autumn in our church, I think a huge part of our role as a church, is to encourage and strengthen one another. Our church should be a place where we are equipped and refreshed every week, for each day in the workplace or on our “frontlines” to live effectively as Christians. It’s not easy.

In this Triathlon, we need to remind ourselves that God is with us and that, although we do not know what is coming next there is nothing that can surprise him. Remember, there will be a finishing line, this will not go on for ever! Peter said to Jesus, “we’re sticking with you, Jesus! You are the one with the words of eternal life!”

Here are four things that can help us in these uncharted waters:
• Keep good rhythms of life – pray, read the Bible, exercise, eat properly, have family time, etc.
• Meet with a couple of like-minded people who we can share with and pray with. To find out more about Trios and Life groups email
Cathy@waltonparish.org.uk
• Keep in touch with church in whatever way you can on Sunday mornings, evenings, live or online or through Alpha, the Bible Course
or midweek groups – feed your faith.
• Be gentle on yourself – we are all making this up as we go along and nobody is judging us, so why judge ourselves?

Our September sermons are from Philippians written by Paul from prison – his words can really help us to live holy lives amidst hardship. There is joy to be found even while running a Triathlon!

Yours in Christ,
Cathy and Jonny