Connexional Office staff are all continuing to work from home. The lockdown has brought many questions and requests for help from around the church and new processes, such as applying for the wage subsidy to be mastered.

Sometimes the broadband link back into the office is slow or the document you really need is not available but mostly the work is going smoothly. A big well done to everyone in Parishes, Rohe, Boards, and Missions who are finding new and creative ways to be an active caring church.

Later this week and early next week as the conditions to move out of lockdown become clearer we will reflect on what that could mean for our congregations and our members. We anticipate that older persons and those with health conditions will be asked to continue to self-isolate and that there will be continuing limits on the numbers of people who can gather together. The clear goal is that as we as a whole community work together to eliminate the risk of virus infections. Could this mean that we are more conservative in our response than the Government might require?

We live over the road from a lake. A very long time ago it was the course of the Avon River. In the very late Autumn of 2007 from our bedroom window we could see a pair of black swans building a nest. It was a large dome shaped pile of vegetation rising more than half a metre out of the water. When completed the eggs were laid on top and the swan sat on the eggs. This was a year when winter came quickly. Cold winds and frosty mornings and then unexpectedly snow. From the bedroom window the swan could be seen on top of the nest, so totally unmoving day after day that I became convinced it was dead and if it were not dead then surely the eggs would have become chilled and the long wait on the nest would be in vain. The adult swan did not seem to move, but after a couple of weeks I thought I saw something, a different patch of colour. Binoculars confirmed there was a grey white head sticking out from under its parent. Later it was confirmed that there were xx cygnets.

On the first day of the lockdown I walked down to the local dairy for milk. Out on the lake there was a pair of Black Swans with 7 cygnets. I don't know why the swans on this lake don't build nests and hatch their young in the spring. Maybe it's because they know they come from a long line who even braved snow to nurture new life. Maybe one of the adults I saw on Thursday was hatched in a snowy June.

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?

Matthew 6:26-27 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)