Pastoral Care from a Distance
By Suanne Tickoft
The impact of COVID-19 has not by-passed Alice Springs or surrounding Central Australian Lutheran communities.
But we have been seeing many creative innovations in caring for and ministering to people.
The Lutheran church in Alice Springs has been directing people with internet access and who are comfortable speaking English to worship resources provided on the LCA website. We’ve also used our fence as a billboard.
However, for many in the Centre, access to reliable internet is limited and there are many who wish to worship in community languages. Households are being encouraged to consider themselves as mini-churches and make use of worship packs. These contain resources for a range of ages and needs, and help families to lead and be involved in worship. The packs include materials in Aboriginal languages and in English.
Being mindful of social distancing, Pastor Mark Thiel and I have driven around to deliver them to households, usually without leaving the vehicle! This interaction, albeit from a little further away, represents important pastoral care at a time when it’s easy for people to feel alone or abandoned.
Our pastoral assistants also have been keeping in touch with congregation members via phone and social media.
God bless you as you find new ways of proclaiming his word and caring for his people in your community, too!
Suanne Tikoft is Aboriginal Women’s Support Worker for the Alice Springs Lutheran Church
PS – If your church has Bible story books or posters which are no longer needed, these could bless household worship groups in Central Australia. Please email email@example.com