Something that I wrote for St Peters, Cricklewood;
These have been challenging times for everyone as we adjust to a new normality in the face of Covid-19. The fresh wave of community members wanting to volunteer, to serve others and to engage with those in need is a wonder to behold and demonstrates that we still have the community spirit that some had thought was dead.
Foodbanks and support services bring hope and are trumpeted and rightly shown as examples of servanthood by the many, yet some people are left feeling inadequate. Why is this? They see the need and are responding as they are able but it can feel like a drop in the ocean to the bigger picture and it can be easy to forget that the ocean is made of billions of these drops…..each one contributing to the wider whole.
One day, Jesus was sat in the temple and observed rich and wealthy people dropping in their offerings to the temple plate….I am sure it was an impressive sight. Then a poor widow drops in 2 coins…not looking so impressive and certainly not as big a hit to the bottom line of the temples balance sheet. The response of Jesus is telling;
“I tell you the truth….more than all the others”.
The rich gave out of their wealth whilst the poor widow gave everything! The measure of true sacrifice is found not in what we give but in what we keep. What a lesson to learn.
In these days of Covid-19, you may not have given thousands of pounds to others, set up a support centre, a food bank or been on a hospital ward but you may have phoned someone, cooked a meal for someone or given some cans of food to a collection point. You have done what you can and that gift will have been life to whoever received your kindness. Do not despise the small things but do what you are able to do. “I tell you the truth, what you have done for the least of these little ones, you have done for me” said Jesus. Your kindness has been noticed.
Thank you for what you are doing, it is appreciated, valued and important…your contribution IS making a difference.
As part of the pandemic, I have been learning new skills very quickly. It seems that many people are joining in the ‘zoom revolution’ and having meetings/coffees etc. on that platform. Yesterday, I was in a licensing service with 46 people, many of whom had no experience on the platform. Here are a few tips that will help in these conversations.
- Sound – if you are not speaking, make sure you are muted. It prevents people being bombarded with a variety of sounds.
- Video – be aware of light. If you have a window behind, it is unlikely that your face will be seen. Make sure that light sources are in front of you or at your side – it will improve things….honest!
- Video again – think of the camera position. Straight on to the face is best but not the only place. Think about the image that others can see and respond accordingly.
- Sound 2 – most microphones mean that you can talk normally and everyone will hear, you do not need to raise your normal voice levels…it may sound like you are shouting at people when you want to be talking
Just a few simple tips….hope they are useful to someone
It has been a rather steep learning curve for everyone these last few weeks as the pandemic strikes at the heart of all our lives. Acts of bravery, kindness and generosity abound alongside those of greed, cowardice and selfishness, and all this on a daily routine.
Our local community has seen a number of people step up to support the vulnerable people, creating new systems, new friendships and a plethora of hope that things can and will get better. It is not just the religious groupings, it is everyone. My hope is that when the virus dies, we will see this community spirit thrive…..something that was sadly lost in the Brexit years.
Here is hoping…..
In this crazy season of pandemic, I am learning new skills in terms of video. Thankfully, I have some help and some are quite ropey but with help, we are seeing significant improvement. Editing is not a strength but in these days of ‘lock in’, I can watch others at work, it is quite a learning curve….we have a fair few great bloopers too, but they are for another time. Here is my favourite video (although not the news of closure) so far;
Continuing on with my CP60s – Church planting thoughts in 60 seconds and finding it quite a challenge. The first challenge is saying something in just 60 seconds and the second thing is video….never realised how difficult doing a video was. Not only is it taking the video and ensuring quality of vision is good, there is also the audio. As yet, post processing has not been on my radar but to improve, it needs to be.
All good fun though, may practice with some reviews of camera gear etc. At least that will be a little more simple, it is my happy place.
Have decided to be a little more active with my current role as a church planter. As a result, I am playing around with vlogging and seeing if there is appetite for people.
So far there are just a few sessions up online – check out the CP60s channel here – please let me know what you think? Something useful? What can be done better? What subjects would you recommend?
Having fun so far in the early days….hope it continues.
Whatever the rights or wrongs of ‘bunking off’, it is great to see young people making a stand and doing it well. Not one arrest yesterday….that’s how to protest!
More pictures on my Flickr Album here.
This August, I said goodbye to my well loved camera equipment. I have been a fan of the Olympus DSLR 4/3rds system and have valued the exceptional quality of their lenses, both kit and prime, in the last 12 years. The e-500 and the e-520 have been great workhorses and have accompanied me on my travels in my ‘digital SLR years’ after the c-5050 zoom, a fixed lens digital camera. (Still rates as one of the best ever lenses on a fixed lens camera).
The trade in was easy and has enabled me to transition to a Canon DSLR body with a Tamron lens. So far, the switch is a positive one but there is a little sadness in leaving behind a system to which I had become accustomed and having to learn new dials, settings and options. In time, the new set up will grow and I will learn the details – thankfully taking pictures is just the same….just need to get better at composition and light!!