I usually share a joke when I stay late at church on a Saturday night: We may as well pitch a tent and stay overnight! Sundays at Robina Anglican have become a certainty in my life. It feels like home. I like the structure: no matter how hectic my week was, I will be at church on Sunday. I will walk in, check that I’ve been signed in, and set up the room for creche without a second thought. Even during the lockdown, I would log on, send my hearts through the livestream, and type out a little “Hello!”.
I’ve never felt comfortable with change. In fact, I can’t stand it. In 2018, at one of our weekly meetings, I was asked, “If you could read a book with everything about your life from start to finish, would you read it?” I confidently answered that I would. I don’t like not knowing what comes next. I thought that knowing the narrative would help me to avoid the fear that comes when you take a plunge. I would know my mistakes, my triumphs, and the impact I would have on others.
In early 2020, I made the decision not to continue as an intern. At first, I was hesitant about what this would mean for a Sunday and my place in the church. Should I just expect that I was teaching a Sunday School lesson? What was I supposed to do on a Sunday? Little did I know, by April, my regular Sundays would no longer exist. Church had moved online.
My church life simply had a different location. I taught Sunday school online, had Young Adults on a Monday, I got to do a Youth social online, I attended Zoom parish council meetings, and once the lockdown restrictions eased, I could finally go back to volunteering at the Kids Op Shop. During lockdown, my head had filled with worries about my future career, my new job, and trying to navigate my online classes. I felt lost – until I “attended” church on a Sunday. Change was abundant, and yet helping out at church was a constant in my life.
No matter what, I will always feel a part of something much larger than me when I come to church. I was preparing the creche lesson last week when I came across Jeremiah (29:11) and it has changed my perspective: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declared the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I see the young people as the hope and the future of the church. I see the change coming through already: when I started an intern in 2018, the new interns were just starting in Grade 10. Six new interns, including a digital intern, was something I would not have even considered when I started as an intern. I see it when I go to the Kids Op Shop on a Saturday and I see young people from All Saints helping out. I see it when I have to find extra chairs and tables for all the children at creche. When I attended the Happening weekend recently, I saw the camp that I attended in 2015 that has expanded and helped young people find a connection with faith and the church.
I see all this change, and I know that our church will prosper for it.