For many churches around the LCA/NZ, COVID-19 gathering and health restrictions may mean they are unable to host the large Christmas services or be involved in the big community events they usually do. Instead, faith communities have come up with new and innovative ways to worship.
Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS), has launched the ‘10,000 children … 100 days’ campaign to support children in refugee camps and other crisis situations to return to school when COVID-19 allows. ‘Our mission is to seek out those who might otherwise be forgotten’, says Jonathan Krause.
Many people have had to adjust to changes in work, home and church life due to COVID-19. But while many things have changed in 2020, Christine Matthias believes a focus on Christ’s birth and traditions built on enjoying simple things together, means Christmas won’t be all that different for her.
When COVID-19 put a temporary halt to public worship, congregations were challenged to put a new emphasis on offering online worship. Many different people take part in the presentation of worship and are filmed in their homes, close-up. That’s where nostril hairs are important.
Like many churches, Mawson Lakes Community Church in Adelaide’s north has undergone dramatic shifts in its ministries during COVID-19. But rather than looking to return to ‘normal’, members are embracing sustainable change.
Some forms of coronavirus restrictions have been part of our lives for months. Many people feel isolated, others uncertain, exhausted, or frustrated. Some also experience this time as a blessing of a quieter life without dozens of commitments.
With COVID-19 having closed some state borders, Faye Schmidt applied to relocate from Melbourne to Adelaide to be near her daughter. This stressful ordeal highlighted for Faye what it means to live under God’s grace.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting attendance numbers at public gatherings, this year’s LCA/NZ ordination service will be live-streamed on the internet, so that people from across the church can participate.
With ALWS Walk My Way community events cancelled due to COVID-19, four Year 11 students from Concordia College in suburban Adelaide thought creatively about raising funds to support the education of children in refugee camps. They raised enough to help 143 children to go to school.
Intergenerational ministry is a priority for members of St Mark’s Lutheran Church Dalby in Queensland, so during COVID-19 church closures, they embraced new opportunities to engage all generations in their worship and activities.