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A Spark from St. John the Evangelist: Group 1

From London
, Ontario, 
 Diocese of Huron

Spark breakout: Peter, Jennifer, Guy, John

What is one learning you would like to share?

That our church community is incredibly resilient.  The core ‘business’ has survived and in some ways thrived.

  • Zoom services have met the basic need of weekly worship
  • New means of communication (weekly email bulletin, Isolated Times by email, weekly Rector’s address to the parish via YouTube, phone call check-in team) – all enhancements we need to keep
  • Zoom has enabled new experiments in community growth
    • Both before and after services we can see faces (and hear voices) that we do not normally encounter at coffee hour
    • Mid-week coffee hour has helped for us to know each other better – and listen better
    • Meetings can be briefer, travel time is eliminated, and if needed more (or less) often
    • ‘Breakout’ feature allows for more intimate engagement (one idea – brief ‘breakout’ time following the Sunday homily to allow parishioners to engage with what has been said)
  • Outreach has adapted and grown
    • ‘virtual’ 5K doubled its projected fund raising target by means of CanadaHelps – from both friends and strangers
    • Switch in hospitality meal program from dine-in to takeout was seamless because of imaginative leadership
    • Outreach funds have been directed to support in new ways the homeless crisis exacerbated by Covid

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

How can we be more inclusive of those who have not been able to adapt to the age of Zoom?

What is one hope you would like to offer?

That what we have learned in adapting – particularly in getting to know, and listen to, the strangers in our midst — can be incorporated into the post-pandemic years, enhancing the mission of our church

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