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Chaplain's Chat, 2nd July 2020

Well here we are! Western Australia is on the verge of coming back to normality, or the “new normal” as the COVID restrictions are loosened. From a Chaplaincy point of view, this is indeed good news. It means that we will be able to recommence Chapel services in St Gregory’s Chapel. During the Crisis, St Gregory’s was not available to us due the closure of churches nationwide.  During the crisis, we have been recording Chapel services and making them available online. A benefit of this was that people who have not been able to attend our Chapel services were able to access them online. When we return to face-to-face services, we will continue recording services and make them available to a wider community.

I would suggest that there has been another ‘benefit’ arising from the fact that people have been forced into isolation and social distancing. It afforded us the opportunity to focus on the things that are important in our lives, as well as those that are not as important. I have had conversions with people who have said that it ‘forced’ them back into relationship with their family members. The fact that we have been living under each other’s feet afforded us the luxury of bespoke time with our loved ones. Many have appreciated this and have developed deeper relationships as a result. Sadly, this forced closeness is not always beneficial as it has led to tensions within some families.

The other thing that the COVID pandemic has done is that it has brought to the fore the fragility of our temporal lives. The virus is so random, indiscriminate, and in many cases, fatal, that all of us are at risk. It certainly reminds us of our mortality! This can induce a sense of panic for people. This was evidenced in the panic buying that we saw at the start of the pandemic.

For Christians however, there is no need for such worry in times of pandemic or crisis. The scriptures repeated tell us that such times will come our way, and that in such times, we should place our hope and trust firmly in God. This helps us to have peace when the whole world seems to be crashing around us.

St Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians had this to say:

“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”                                                                                 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

In his letter to the Romans, he said this:

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39

This assurance, certainty, and the resulting peace that we have through our faith, is the bedrock on which Peter Moyes Anglican Community School is founded.

It is my prayer that our whole school community can have this peace, particularly those who are doing it very tough as a result of the curve balls that COVID has thrown at us, not the least of which is loss of jobs and/or security.

Please know that Rev Jean-Pierre and I are here to support you in any way that we can during these times of uncertainty.

God bless.
Rev Dave