Our recent post on Succeeding as a VC – Virtual Chaplain – has led to an unprecedented number of ‘hits’ on our website and from the TISCA Chaplains’ WhatsApp group. We are grateful to everyone’s input and ideas – and this blog post is an update.
Licensed to sing out!
If you need some input on using songs, music and lyrics online – and where the law stands on this – then do have a look at the following:
Evangelical Alliance has put together a google doc – http://covid.churcheshandbook.co.uk
Share and Prayer
Since we last posted we have had an online Zoom ‘share and prayer’ for Chaplains and this has proved to be very encouraging. Jim Houghton (Eltham College), rather poignantly, said that he had just done his weekly pupils’ Bible Study on Zoom only to have pupils saying that it was so good to see everyone ‘and please may we do this every day’?
Tim Hall (St David’s) contributed that voluntary chapel at school normally attracted 50-60 pupils but now that he’s doing it online there are over 100 tuning in. Clearly in times of crisis we yearn all the more for each other, for community – and for direction. ‘Random acts of kindness’ are no longer so random – they are intentional, as this meditation illustrates:
We haven’t cancelled worship(c) 2020 Thom M. Shuman
we’ve cancelled a religious service
at a specific time, in a specific place,
on a specific day, but folks will still
worship God when they are caring
for the grandkids and walking their dogs;
worship as they serve beside Jesus at food-banks
and picking up groceries for a neighbour;
worship when they share the Spirit’s peace
by singing songs over the phone to a parent;
worship when they work from home;
worship when they endure extra shifts
in nursing homes and group homes;
worship when they email someone far away
and wave to a stranger across the street;
worship when they take toilet paper
to a homeless shelter
and volunteer at a polling place.
we haven’t cancelled worship,
just the “official” part
that may be the smallest part
of it all
Zooming into chapel!
Paul Hedworth (Bromsgrove) reports: I am conducting ‘Zoom Chapel’ for all members of staff and senior students twice each week (inc during the holiday) and I have been emailing them all regularly (some will be fed up of me no doubt!) and I am hoping to send a prayer email each Sunday. I pray that not only will we/they be supported during this difficult time but it may sow some seeds for when we get back together again face to face and not just Zoom face to face!
We have heard from Alycia Timmis (Warwick) who is delighting in the fact that her confirmation candidates want to continue their sessions – online. She’s now having to ‘upskill’ to Zoom to do this. Brynn Bayman (Framlingham), aka ‘the cringe chaplain’, has used Vimeo for his Easter preparation chapel talk, ‘It’s Friday but Sunday is coming’. Andrew Winter, from Reeds School, is broadcasting on YouTube from his ‘highly decorated bus shelter’ who reminds us that even though there are fewer ‘goodies’ in the supermarkets that this is not the case in online chapel.
And what about Andrew Cranston (Oswestry) who has enlisted his children and the family cuddly toys to re-enact the story of the NT story of the man lowered through a roof to be healed by Jesus – a story put out for Pre-Prep age children (and oldies, too) in just one minute? And then there’s Hutch (Monkton) who drinks wine vinegar on camera to illustrate an incident from Jesus on the cross!
I know who holds the future
Whoever and wherever you are as you read this, follow the Government’s advice to say safe but do what you can to ‘phone a friend’, to help a neighbour, to be imaginative, to pray and to point the way to the One who knows the future:
‘I know who holds the future, and He’ll guide me with His hand. With God things don’t just happen, everything by Him is planned. So as I face tomorrow, with its problems large and small, I’ll trust the God of miracles, give to Him my all.’Eugene Clark
Alastair Reid (General Secretary, TISCA)