Pastor Joel Pukallus had been at St Mark’s Lutheran Church in the Queensland town of Dalby for less than two months when COVID-19 restrictions created an urgent need to reimagine worship and fellowship.
Since beginning a Grow Coaching journey in 2019, members viewed intergenerational ministry as a priority, but how could they continue to engage all generations without physical gatherings?
The congregation launched a weekly edited video service. This allowed members from both St Mark’s and sister congregation Redeemer Macalister to provide videos and audio recordings of readings, songs and prayers to be incorporated with Pastor Joel’s liturgy and message. Members learnt music and video editing so that people of all ages – from eight to 70+ – could contribute.
In the lead-up to Easter, local gardens inundated with butterflies gave Grow group member Lois Strand an idea, and the Butterfly Facebook Challenge was born. Pastor Joel encouraged people to photograph butterflies and post them on Easter Sunday, as a symbol of new life.
Meanwhile, St Mark’s children’s ministry team developed a weekly YouTube ‘Kids Spot’ to help support young people in their faith. The team also developed ‘Bring a grandparent to Zoom Sunday school’ – a fantastic intergenerational faith-sharing opportunity.
Like many Christians across the world, St Mark’s members have been eager to again worship together inside our church building, while continuing to embrace new opportunities.
God’s light has shone through the darkness of isolation to allow his people to emerge from the cocoon. Like butterflies, may we continue to flourish in the new life bestowed by his amazing grace.
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