Stocki and Richard

My wife Janice and daughter Caitlin are in the room next door, Zooming a Baby and Toddler group. Imagine that! 

In my last sermon in Fitzroy, before we could no longer meet, I spoke about our need for grace and imagination…. and oh my are we not finding those two things as the days of these Coronavirus Times go on.

Zoom has become our new best friend. Meeting with Fitzroy planners, Session, a prayer meeting and a 4 Corners Festival committee meeting. All thanks to Zoom. Isn’t it great to see people’s wee faces smiling out of the lap top!

It has meant a lot of new learning. I find that that means that the day is slower and harder. I need more emails and messages and phone calls to get some little things done. Everything takes a little bit longer. However, I have got to know our communications guys Alison and Richard a whole lot better and I am so thankful for that… and for them!

The learning is slow, to my cost! Everyone watching Janice and I Facebook Live yesterday afternoon are still laughing. I couldn’t work out how to switch it all off! It might still be on!

Yet, that vulnerability of not being top to speed in these social media skills is an added bonus to what I am trying to share. As well as needing some weightier Biblical nuggets in my sermons I am realising that we all need a good laugh. The bloopers at the end of our services on Fitzroy TV are becoming a crucial part of the liturgy! 

Laughter is a wonderful release of tension and anxiety. I am much happier that people get a laugh out of me than I normally am. Being a bumbling idiot might have become a gift of the Holy Spirit!

The weighty sermons and messages has been a challenge. Oh I am not saying that I am not always seeking something of substance on a Sunday morning or any other time I am give the privilege to preach. However, on ordinary Sundays it is a general teaching programme and though I prayerful seek how the text meets the context of our week it has never seemed so urgent to hit the spot as it does right now.

I feel the pressure of bringing grace and hope and peace and calm. I sense the need to rally the morale of the troops. We are all staying in and not feeling the energy of the buzz of thinking and talking together. Using the Scriptures like the cavemen and women used stones to spark our imaginations is a new demand. 

We have a long way to go in these Coronavirus Times and every week it gets harder to find the right Word and words. If you are the praying kind…

I just sneaked in and Baby and Toddler is going great. We couldn’t have imagined these things even two weeks ago. It is a new world, with new skills and so many are stepping up. I am proud that my family are doing great at it! Grace and imagination! Indeed!


Sheena Gaston

Finding what you are writing and posting very relevant and helpful at this time. Well done in helping us adjust to the new normal.

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