Irish people are more bored, frustrated and lonely now than at any time during the pandemic. That came out this week in a poll by the Department of Health. It’s not really a surprise, is it? We are, after all, confined to our homes, isolated from loved ones, have lost our usual routine, lost employment and experienced grief. Sometimes you forget the gravity of the word “pandemic”.
Many have talked about the importance of hope and positive thinking; have you used the time to take up a new hobby, read all the books you wanted to read, get fit? No, neither have I! But no one can deny that it has made us be with our own thoughts a bit more. Perhaps for the first time, not only are we forced to slow down, but also to face our own mortality. In the grand scheme, our life is a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
And yet something inside us says no! We are not just mist. We matter. There is something deeper in us, something that connects us all, something greater than me. Radio presenters, insta influencers, motivational writers – they’re all saying how important hope is during this time. We must have hope.
Has it made you think about where that hope might be found? Has is made you think about God? Has it made you pray for the first time in ages?
Churches across the country may have closed their doors, but they have not closed down. They are finding creative ways to meet together, to lift prayers to God and to help bring hope into peoples lives.
Ignite is a faith community based in Blackrock, Dublin made up of people from all walks of life. We are currently meeting online, and when possible, in smaller groups. We meet to learn more about who God is, to pray, to worship and to support each other. Some of us have called ourselves Christians for years, others may not be so sure, but enjoy the community. We’re a bit of a messy group.
And during the lockdown, we have welcomed new people who, despite having to meet online, have found coming together to talk about faith and to pray has given them hope;
“Meeting people online seemed a little daunting at first but, especially since being assigned to a small group, it’s been easy and an absolute joy making new friends. It’s the same as anything, the thoughts of taking the first step is the hardest but once you do, you realize how easy it was. The community has been so welcoming and accepting. You can just as comfortably contribute, question or admit your don’t agree, as sit quietly and listen or pray. It’s been such an essential part of our week, especially during these particularly lonely and uncertain times.”
“I came to ignite because I know how important community is to my own spiritual growth. Even in the midst of a pandemic, relationships point us to Jesus by bearing one another’s burdens. We aren’t meant to run this race alone.”
If you have questions about faith, want to ask for prayer or simply want to meet new people, feel free to get in touch! Email firstname.lastname@example.org, call/text Belinda on 085 7739723 or find us on Facebook. You can also find more info on our online activities here.