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jo dolby

The Big Rethink: Jo Dolby

Hub Leader at Oasis, Bath

When lockdown first hit, things got weird pretty quickly. I remember hearing a few people comment that it was like being in the middle of one of those apocalyptic movies, minus the Zombies and Aliens!

When we think of the word ‘apocalypse’ we think of the end of the world, but in the Christian tradition it means something very different to this. Apocalypse comes from two Greek words, apo, which means off, or away from, and kalyptein, which means cover or conceal. So a better meaning of the word apocalypse is to uncover or reveal something, particularly something that was there all along but just hidden.

I remember hearing a few people comment that it was like being in the middle of one of those apocalyptic movies, minus the Zombies and Aliens!

I think Covid-19 has revealed lots to us all, things that perhaps we had forgotten or been unable to see. To me, Covid-19 has revealed the resilience and strength in our church community, and our ability to adapt. We went almost instantly from meeting every week in our building to not being allowed to meet at all. Since then we have provided practical help to each other through WhatsApp groups and met weekly with the wider Oasis network for a short online church service called the Global Gathering.

I think Covid-19 has revealed lots to us all, things that perhaps we had forgotten or been unable to see.

Covid-19 has also revealed the inequality in our society. We may have all been in the same storm but we certainly haven’t been in the same boat. Experiencing lockdown in a high-rise tower block flat is very different compared to experiencing it in a detached house with a big garden.

Along with some other great charities in the city, we’ve been able to support those struggling to afford food and working in partnership with others to start a food parcel project, which has been providing a weekly food parcel to around 50 families.

For us, we’re still thinking through what this ‘new normal’ might look like and we’ll need to maintain a more substantial online presence, even without restrictions. We’ll keep doing all we can to support those in poverty. That’s why we’re opening a food pantry project in September for families on low incomes, which will provide great quality food for a fraction of the normal cost. I hope we’ll walk more, shop local and independent, value our friends and family in a deeper way, know our neighbours and keep working together to help those in need.

It wasn’t the end of the world, but let’s hope it’s the start of a much better one!

oasisbath.org

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