Assembly and Chapel for the remainder of Term 1 have been cancelled.
Week 8, Friday 20 March 2020
What an extraordinary time we are experiencing. It is undeniable that many are feeling worried, anxious, fearful – even paranoid. There is already a plethora of information and advice about COVID-19, bombarding your inbox and feeds, so in these few words I have I simply want to offer you some encouragement and hope.
As families and individuals, we need to take proactive measures to ensure we’re looking after ourselves during these stressful times. While we can’t fully control what’s happening around us, we can take charge of our inner world. So, in times such as these, it is important to learn and apply basic stress management strategies to reduce fear and anxiety and enhance our overall wellbeing. But I think it bears repeating over and over – DO NOT PANIC. These are all precautionary measures taken to help “flatten the curve.” Of course, if you find that your mood and emotions have been adversely impacted by the continuing negative news, then it’s extremely important that you seek professional help.
This new term of social distancing does not mean we succumb to relational disconnection. Isolation can be dangerous if people don’t work to maintain their connections with others.
- Use video calls to connect when possible. Video chat allows us to see the other person’s nonverbal behaviours, which alerts us to their mood and allows for clearer, more effective communication.
- Grandparents and other relatives (who have this technology) can see their grandchildren’s mannerisms, and all can be reminded of each others’ funny or endearing quirks.
- Watch a movie or TV show together as a family. Find a friend or family member you are distanced from who has similar tastes and commit to watching the same show, then calling or texting one another to talk about it.
- Pick a topic (not COVID-19) and find a friend who wants to learn along with you. Learn something new together.
- Try daily mindfulness exercises such as taking a tech-free walk near your home.
- Practise displaying gratitude in our lives by simply counting or writing down three blessings at the end of each day.
- Have a virtual date night with another couple. Make dinner and pour some wine, then switch on the video chat to enjoy your meals together. Have some fun with it! Be creative. Be imaginative – this is who we are as humans and how we have been created.
It is also in these times people seek deeper understanding and meaning for life. There is a spiritual cry which goes out. But how does this look when most churches aren’t allowed to gather at the moment? You may like to check out some various churches who have made the move to online community from this weekend. Seeds Church, of which I am part of the pastoral team, are offering this way of connection and encouragement. While the media production and platform has been face-tracked in a short timeframe, it will be provided as a means for you to source some spiritual comfort and direction, as well as some relational connection. Join us each Sunday 9am, 10.45 or 6pm. https://seeds.online.church
In everything you face, be kind to one another and to yourself. Be patient. Be wise. Be hopeful.
Praying for you and your families,
As schools are continuing to remain open and operating as normal we are continuing in our preparations to provide our Vacation Care program during the April School Holidays. However, in line with our risk minimisation plans, we are currently altering the program. The incursions and excursions advertised in the current program will now not be offered. Cluny, our OSHC Co-ordinator, is planning a new program filled with many fun and creative experiences offered within our school grounds which will cater for both the younger and older students. This new program will soon be shared with you and rebooking will be available to families wanting to make changes.