Today doesn't really feel like a Monday because yesterday was such a very odd Sunday. yet just a week ago we were hoping to stay open and continue all our planned events. Now we are all awaiting an evening news conference from the PM which is likely to tell us that we need to stay home even more that we already are.
To be fair there were lots of people out over the weekend. But they were mostly walking apart. And we were told that fresh air and exercise were good for us. The press though are like dogs with bones when they sense that things are not going well. The number of cases keeps going up yet still nowhere near the levels on the continent. So we will all need to stay in and the shops will almost all need to close.
The ultimate reason for why we need to do this has dramatically changed. It is no longer to save the elderly but now to support the valiant workers of the NHS who are quite literally putting their lives on the line to treat patients. This seems to be working. Crying nurses get more sympathy. It is a reluctantly obvious fact that old people are going to die. Many of them have become resigned to that destiny. So let's do this for our health workers and give up our freedoms because one day our lives could actually be in their hands and we will need them to be there.
Today we had our first virtual staff meeting. I want to record that it was on Google Hangouts as in years to come we will look back and marvel that we had this technology all the time and never bothered to use it before being forced to by the crisis. It mostly worked well. Our Children and Youth Worker couldn't join the group despite everyone else managing it [this was no surprise]. So I talked him through the decisions later. Much more hilarious, and this is making me chuckle as I write it, our IT guru who probably is a genius with a magical way of making all things IT work arrived late and then only as an icon who whispered ethereally into the discussion from another place for the whole of the rest of the meeting.
Our main decision was that our church building must close to encourage people to stay away and stay at home. This will also protect our staff and their families. It's the right decision. The time has come. We also made available some prayer resources to encourage people to develop their own prayer life where they are. Because for the foreseeable future there will be no getting together to do church. This is the new normal and we need to adapt. That's what our species is good at. That's why, to almost quote Gloria Gaynor, "we will survive". That's the way God made us and I trust that He is not finished with us yet.