Covid’s surprise blessing

Recording a church service for King Island Radio

“No more Church Services until further notice”. What a shock!

King Island has been in lock down. An isolated location is both a blessing (safer) and a challenge. If anyone flies to Tasmania’s main island for medical reasons, on return they must go into 2 weeks isolation.

King Island thrives on its many community groups and connections. So, no Sunday church gathering is a huge loss of fellowship and community. Following up our people and reaching out has completely changed.

Many other churches in Tasmania have managed to live-stream a service and do it fantastically. On King Island lots of people have technology challenges. Some have no internet; phone calls are difficult with extremely poor reception. Some do not have a DVD player or USB facilities. Believe me, I tried. Just as I was at a loss as to what to do, a surprise phone call.

The manager of King Island Radio Station approached us and asked if we could record and broadcast a service on Sunday mornings. To my surprise, lots of people are tuning-in; people who would never go to Church. There are people driving to another location to receive reception to listen in, and those that have internet are downloading the service from the Radio Station’s website.

I have had feedback from non-churched people saying how they are listening and enjoying it. The manager of the Radio Station excitedly rang me Sunday afternoon after the first broadcast; “We have had 180 active engagements with the broadcast”. Active engagements = People who download it, to listen to.

Due to the surprising response, there are now plans to broadcast a service every Sunday even after we go back to regular church services.

Our prayer now is, “Lord show us how we can positively engage with those who don’t go to church, help us to have the wisdom to lead people into a living relationship with Jesus to be his active Disciples”.

Revd Chris Thiele, King Island