“Greetings from the WMS Synodical of Central, Northeastern Ontario and Bermuda.”
These last six months have been a challenge to all of our churches as we’ve worked hard figuring out how to do ministry while staying safe, flattening the curve, and following social distancing protocols. As the proverb goes, ‘necessity is the mother of invention,’ and so our churches have been making use of some wonderful inventions during these days. For many of our church leaders ZOOM has presented the perfect platform for holding our numerous meetings, but comes with the work of learning how to use the technology itself. This can be a new challenge for anyone, but most especially if computers and computer programs are new for them.
Throughout all of this the Women’s Missionary Society has not given up or given in. In fact these ladies, who are often older and not always computer savvy, have mastered technologies they never thought they’d ever need to use in their lifetimes. Yet they are now taking full advantage of ZOOM for their meetings and check-ins.
As soon as the pandemic hit, the women of the society transferred their meetings to ZOOM. The first few gatherings of the synodical executive included lots of instructions on how to use the ZOOM invite, mute and unmute themselves, participate in interactive worship, and vote on the matters at hand. From time to time a grandchild was greeted when they leaned into the screen to help their grandma know what button they needed to use, but by-and-large the women have very quickly become familiar with the technology and enjoy seeing one another over their screens, if not in person. Now the assumption is that this is how we’ll be meeting for the foreseeable future, and that’s okay.
Today, the women of the Synodical of CNOB held their first annual meeting over ZOOM. Women were able to attend from across the synodical by quickly linking in instead of having to drive hours to a meeting location. I didn’t see pyjamas on anyone, but there was more than one cup of coffee consumed and comfortable chairs were in ready supply. Once a few kinks were worked out everyone became focused on the agenda.
The meeting went fantastically! The shortened agenda included worship, our In Memoriam moment, the consideration and approval of all the reports, and the installation of the new officers for the next year. While the business of the synodical was achieved, more importantly the relationships of care for one another happened. Knowing that most are well, hearing who was unable to come and why, and offering our love to one another made the meeting special.
Congratulations ladies, you’ve got this! Your ministry carries on through prayers, phone calls, and even ZOOM. And for this we give thanks to God.