What a joy it has been to see church attendance on the rise particularly with our young families gathering in increasing numbers for outdoor worship on the Cathedral south lawn. As we slowly emerge from pandemic conditions, I see smiles and hear laughter that have been much muted in recent times.
Outdoor worship is largely the result of circumstances beyond our control. We had to adapt and modify our external conditions for worship to the situation at hand. And in Providence, we have come to see that this seems to fit the states and needs quite well of families with young children. Children seem more relaxed and attentive outside. There is an ocean of space to spread out and to engage in worshipful activities. Children who have trouble settling can move and resettle close by or be taken for a stroll.
Has this been an easy transition? The answer is both yes and no. Past attempts to worship outside have largely worked out fine but the set up and take down process was always a barrier. Today we are witnessing a sizeable uptick in volunteering that has been a big help. We now have a solid team of six women (mothers and grandmothers) who meet with me and take on different components of the service. Rain and wind, and even a heavy dew can pose problems. Yet a willing spirit is prevailing.
I wonder how many ways have you been asked to adapt and modify your lifestyle because of the pandemic. Chances are good that the Lord has given you opportunities for growth and also the benefit of finding better, more productive ways to do many things. The Lord is a constant and active force within our spirits seeking to be conjoined with us. Our task is to find better ways to adapt and modify the thoughts, words and actions of our lives by following the Divine order, which are all God’s commandments. Only then are we prepared to receive the Lord and truly be conjoined with Him (See True Christianity 110).