When the editorial group met to discuss this latest edition of Baptists Together
magazine, there was a sense that come September things might – might
– be starting to settle after the upheavals of the previous 18 months. The vaccine had seemingly reduced hospitalisations and deaths; restrictions were duly removed at the end of July (a move the Government described as ‘irreversible’) and activities hitherto unthinkable during a global pandemic – night-clubbing, or communal singing in a church service, perhaps – were permissible again. Yet with the disruption and tragedy so many have endured, it’s clearly not a return to life as we knew it before March 2020.
The current edition of Baptists Together
attempts to capture something of this uncertain season. The storm may have passed, but what has it done and what now remains? The idea of order and chaos resonated: many of us feel battered, weary, and fearful. As one writer asks, how will we be as we come to terms with what the pandemic has done to our world and the part of it we inhabit?
How do we look ahead when there is such an unforeseeable future?
Will people return to church as we know it, or will our experience of online church have changed things for some time to come, if not permanently? What are people doing differently as a result of the pandemic – and how is their thinking being shaped as a result? What can we learn from each other? And what can we learn from those who have gone before us, say the Early Church, or from our Baptist roots?
With Covid still circulating and the possibility of new variants outsmarting the vaccine, no one really knows what happens next. But the dominant thread running though this collection of articles is that God is with us, and he is moving. Our hope and prayer is that you know this truth deeply, and that there is much in this edition to encourage and strengthen you.
A printed copy of the magazine was sent to each minister, church secretary and church treasurer and