In the lead up to one of the most significant dates on the Christian calendar, Easter, Pastor James McCleary of Forbes Baptist Church has been busy harnessing the power of the internet to reach church members. While he acknowledges the feeling of distance and isolation, especially during such a significant holiday, James also expressed gratitude for the technology that allows him to reach members of the church, both young and old.
With the usual and highly anticipated activities around Easter cancelled this year, it is important to be flexible and balanced. Pastor James recommends a healthy balance of work, exercise, family and social time, relaxation and sleep to stay on top of his mental health and wellbeing. Now more than ever, with so little face-to-face social interaction and without regular support networks available, it is crucial to be patient and forgiving to oneself. “This climate has forced us to slow things down and gives us a chance to reflect.”
With many older members of the church, James was impressed with how adaptable they have been with the sudden changes, stating: “It has been really encouraging to see the older generation get on board, being flexible and engaging.” While he acknowledges the distance people feel from the community they are used to interacting with each Sunday, and the yearning people feel for face-to-face interaction, he points to “the goodness of God in using technology to continue his work.”
James urged Forbes people to stay in touch over Easter, saying that “ringing people and video calls on messenger are great ways to stay connected.”