It’s ages since I last did any blogging! I hope to do a series of blog posts on my experiences with depression and stress over the past year and this is the first. More to come!
I am a vicar of a small Anglican Church. I also am in my 60s and have an underlying health condition. On top of that I am continuing to suffer from depression.
The Coronavirus is impacting me on a number of levels.
Firstly I am like anyone who is in their 60s with underlying health conditions. My depression means that I am deeply concerned about this epidemic on me personally and on my family. Will I get it, will others in my family get it? If so how badly will it hit us?
Then I am a Vicar and have responsibility both for a congregation and for a local parish. Pastorally I care about the people amongst whom I minister. With my stress and depression I am struggling with the additional decision making that is needed at the moment.
How should communion be served? Should we serve refreshments? What about our toddler group and group for those who are retired? We can’t get new supplies of hand gel. What happens if churches need to close altogether, especially if this is over Easter? How do we retain safety at our weekly cafe? With a mainly older morning congregation how can we minimise the risk of Coronavirus being passed on? What about the pastoral needs that may well arise in the coming weeks and months?
As a Christian leader I know I should, of all people, be the one preaching, sharing and living hope in this time. But for me I’ve gone from being a positive person whose glass is always at least half full to being someone whose glass is at least half empty.
I’m struggling in faith as I’m sure many others are. But that’s OK! It’s OK to have doubts and questions. For me over my life I’ve always come back to the solid rock on which I stand and his name is Jesus.
I know who holds the future
And He’ll guide me with his hand
With God things don’t just happen,
Everything by him is planned.
So as I face tomorrow,
With its problems large and small,
I’ll trust the God of miracles,
Give to Him my all.