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A Spark from St. John the Evangelist: Group 2

From London
, Ontario, 
 Diocese of Huron

Spark Breakout:  Michael, Petey, Ilona, Mary Lynn

What is one learning you would like to share?

That the privations and isolation caused by the pandemic have brought our church community to a pivotal point where we recognize that change to meet the needs of our members and the wider community is vital to our survival and future wellbeing.

  • We are experiencing a watershed moment. Some find faith diminishing, church less relevant and have become ambivalent; others have drawn closer to family and have maintained and even grown in devotion and commitment. Similar to the confusion and bewilderment of the way forward experienced by the disciples following Christ’s ascension, we recognize that we must embrace change and devise effective paths to restore vibrant faith and promote meaningful evolution.
  • Human contact, interactions and personal involvement enhance the joy and benefits of belonging to a church family but we must reach out electronically, as we have done, to still be effective and carry on with our mission and goals.
  • We pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire each of us, personally and collectively, to discern his will, and understand how to act on it.

What is one question you would like others to wrestle with?

  • How can we change our services and activities to engage people more actively?
    • include more personal interaction time as part of the experience
    • make church joyful so people can get ‘charged up’ to go forward for the week
    • bring freshness to the rites and make the traditional message less historical and more connected to life in the modern world
    • develop a hybrid model for those who cannot be present physically
    • Etc! Etc! Etc!
  • We are attempting this at St. John’s with our electronic coffee hours, frequent emails, Isolation Times, Lyndon’s videos, Ilona’s activities etc. etc. but it is discouraging to see how few people are taking advantage of our efforts. We await the resumption of in-person attendance to judge how much of a challenge it will be to re-engage our members and build our congregation.

What is one hope you would like to offer?

We have a core of intelligent, competent and dedicated members at St. John’s.  Many unsung volunteers work diligently to carry out our good works.  Our traditions are strong and this is an opportunity to for us to respond once again to the challenges we face. When motivated we can be powerful, and do amazing things.

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