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Tim writes –

By now we are into the second day of staying at home due to the Alert Level 4 response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. I am working from home and slowly setting up the office here. Having previously worked from home, I know that it is not that easy and that I prefer a separate office to go to so that I feel in a work mode.

Yet, when I hold my son Sebastian in my arms and smell that distinctive baby smell, I’m quite happy to be near him. Being around my child a lot in these early weeks will be quite different from my experience with our first child. Just after the birth I was working in Christchurch and my wife and daughter lived in Timaru. During the week I stayed in backpackers and worked long hours on building sites as an archaeologist.
I ate Burger King at night, because that restaurant had the best internet
connection for Skype calls. I haven’t touched Burger King since.

I think that our current situation might also bring us to the point of saying “never again, if we can avoid it” to a few things once the emergency is over—maybe being stuck in one place for so long. On the other hand, there will be other matters that we will be pleasantly surprised with, and which we might want to hang on to even when circumstances return to a (new) normal, maybe the slower pace of life.

In the church there will be some things that we will miss during this time, such our regular Sunday morning services. Other modes of operating during this time we might find quite helpful and might want to continue into the future. And yet other things we might value just at this time and associate them forever with autumn 2020.

Several parishioners have suggested that during the Level 4 Alert we send out daily encouragements written by various members of the congregation. I think that it might be best to have four such email letters of encouragement a week—on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Friday, the normal newsletter will be sent out. On Sunday you might want to listen to the sermon on the website.
If you do not want those additional letters of encouragement in your email inbox, please let Ruth know. Some of them will also appear as blog posts on our website.

Please let me know whether you can contribute by sending an email to vicar@stpaulspapanui.org.nz. I will also approach some people directly. Please also indicate whether you are fine with these occurring as blog posts on our website.

Blessings,
Tim