Kyabram Free Press

Church finding hope in troubled times

- By Myles Peterson

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the toughest events Pastor David Lloyd has experience­d in his two decades of church leadership.

Head of the Community Church Kyabram for the past five years, Mr Lloyd said lockdowns had struck at the heart of what made his church the life-centre for some 170 members.

But the teachings and community formed around the Community Church have also lent strength to its worshipper­s during these troubled times, according to Mr Lloyd.

One of the hardest issues was weddings, Mr Lloyd said. He has conducted three since the pandemic began last March.

“I've done three weddings in this COVID season. So in the last 18 months. And each one of those weddings was a Christian couple who have been wanting to do marriage the right way,” he said.

Designatin­g weddings as non-essential had an enormous impact for those committed to Christian teachings, according to

Mr Lloyd.

“It is really hard for them because they're choosing not to live together before they get married, and so for them to put it off it's really delaying something that they're really wanting and hoping for,” he said.

Good luck had blessed each of the weddings Mr Lloyd did manage to conduct.

“All of them decided they we're going to get married regardless. The amazing blessing in each one of those was that the restrictio­ns were lifted just prior to the wedding,” he said.

With gatherings restricted to five people, the Community Church has been streaming its regular Sunday events, but that has also produced difficulti­es.

“When we can't meet in person we're offering our services online and that just goes out via our Facebook page,” Mr Lloyd said.

The Community Church's contempora­ry style of worship involves togetherne­ss and pastoral care that simply cannot be replicated online, according to Mr Lloyd.

“On a normal Sunday, you know, we can't get people to leave the church building because they just love being together. That's the fellowship,” he said.

Numerous church activities have also been limited and Mr Lloyd said he worried for his less motivated members.

“Keeping up the enthusiasm of what church is about is a hard thing when you go to continual lockdown. Some people would be self-motivated in following Jesus and being involved in the mission of helping and others may not be, so they could well slip through the cracks and grow cold in their enthusiasm, and that’s one of the challengin­g things. If we’re not meeting regularly, that’s one of the really challengin­g aspects of being a pastor,” he said.

“I don’t want to come across as too negative. There’s still a lot of things we can do and there’s lots of positive things. I think it is about finding creative ways of being a church. The thing that defines us is that we can get through this together.”

 ??  ?? Still connecting: Pastor David Lloyd speaking for the Community Church Kyabram’s online service.
Still connecting: Pastor David Lloyd speaking for the Community Church Kyabram’s online service.

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