In addition, Michael's role as a church pastor has meant that he has had to implement a whole programme of on-line church services and Bible studies, as well as working out ways to care for as many people as possible, and all in a very short period of time.
Like many, we've had to go through a period of rapid adjustment!
1) Virtual home education group. Our regular group can't meet, so we are moving our group online - with book groups and other activities happening regularly. We, and our children, are becoming more proficient in using zoom.
2) P.E. with Joe. Yes, we've become enthusiastic participants in the daily P.E. sessions. The children enjoy watching their parents join is, and we all enjoy seeing my very tall 12 year old attempt to miss the light fittings. My 14 year old attempted one session armed with a wooden sword - also adding to the fun!
3) Sending post. Michael is regularly sending books out to church members, or delivering them by hand during his daily walk. I've been posting activities out for our Sunday School children, and my younger two made Easter cards for us to send to the church family (and their grandparents!).
|Making Easter Cards|
4) Recording Services for Church. We've tried a few ways of filming Michael as he preaches or leads a service, and have moved on from a phone balanced on a tripod (secured with blu tac) on top of a pile of books, resting on an ironing board, to a proper phone holding tripod, attached to a step ladder!
|Ready to Record|
5) Bible Studies On-Line. Again, we've all adjusted to meeting virtually via zoom. One advantage of everything moving on-line is that I can actually attend some church meetings, such as the evening service, where usually I need to stay at home with the children.
6) Virtual Church. We sit in our living room together and take part in the service that Michael and the elders have recorded in advance, and join in with the singing and the prayers. It's not the same at all - we really miss our church family - but it is still a blessing to us, and an encouragement. We've run a Sunday School group for the children before the service (again, using zoom), and this has been a chance for them to see their friends and learn from the Bible together. They complete their activity sheets once the class has finished.
7) Netflix Parties. The children watch a film with their friends on Netflix, using a program that means they can "talk" to each other using a chatbox at the same time. This has been a real hit!
8) Baking & Zoom. This has only been attempted once - but my 12 year old and a friend followed the same recipe while chatting via zoom at the same time. They are planning to do this again next week.
9) Haircuts. Actually, Michael (who has far more natural ability than me) cuts my hair, and the children's, regularly; today I cut his (as filming was over for the week). I think we got away with it - and the back-up option of me hastily crocheting a hat has not been needed.
Of course, many of the usual rhythms of life are still in place; Bible study over breakfast; maths and English, history and Latin; piano playing (though lessons are on Skype!) and messing around in the garden. The children are still making board games, playing with the marble run or the Knex, and reading many books. I'm still running (with lots of careful dodging of other pedestrians). planning work, marking books, and trying to get my Sunday School lessons together.
Above all, in the midst of uncertainty, in all the reminders of our human frailty and weakness, we know that God is sovereign, that Christ is indeed risen from the dead, and that our hope in him is secure.