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Life grows in lockdown for Dartford

Dartford rRita Brown, local church leader at St Andrew’s URC, Dartford, shares how things have been going for the congregation during lockdown:

This crisis has given us more of a chance to focus on Walking the Way, looking deeper into what the Lord is calling us to, both as Individuals and as a church, seeing where God is using us as the church is scattered (especially when we can’t gather physically).

We, like many other churches have been able to continue Sunday worship in lockdown through technology. Each Sunday we have a two-hour Zoom session, starting with a catch up as people join, before moving into our service which includes a time of sharing news and testimony together in small groups. This is very good as it's random, so people can have conversations with people they may not normally get to speak to. It's quite exciting not knowing who you will be with this week.

The fear and grief of this pandemic has given us all opportunities for ‘God conversations’ to open up, as people ask questions about life, faith and the world around them. A few people have been trying to encourage their families to come to worship. They are now joining us because worship isn’t in a strange or distant building, but in their own house, on their tablet or phone. This has opened up lots of possibilities for the future, including enabling housebound friends to join in church activities.

Despite the challenges of lockdown, there have been some really positive outcomes. Due to the growth of our church, we are in a very healthy financial position, and also have enough people who do not need to shelter who will be able to help us start up physical activities again, when the time comes.

Another positive is that some of the older folk have been reluctant to give roles up, and are perhaps not as open as they should be to new, refreshing ideas, have actually enjoyed not having the responsibility and think it's time for the younger ones to use the gifts which they’ve been able to demonstrate during lockdown.

St Andrew’s URC, Dartford has been able to find new insight and gifts during lockdown which will help the church as it prepares to reopen its doors. What has helped you during this crisis? Let us know so we can share good news more widely.

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