You need other people. Yes, even now.

You need other people. Yes, even now.

‘Social distancing’ will probably be the phrase of the year in 2020. Most of us could not have defined that term last year; now we see it in every news article and as warnings in every building we enter. We are encouraged to spend more time away from other people.

As some satirical articles have pointed out recently, the idea of avoiding people and staying at home seems wonderfully attractive to introverts! Those of us who are more outgoing will have a harder time of things. But whether introvert or extrovert, we all need people.

Mental health promotion advertisements have been encouraging us for years to act, belong and commit. Being forced to stay at home, especially if we live alone, will mean almost exactly the opposite. Isolation can be a terrible thing for our mental health, let alone our spiritual health and encouragement.

How might we connect with others socially when we cannot meet together as a wider church? Every week we have fewer natural opportunities to meet others, whether at a coffee shop or a library or a gym. Even if you cannot leave your house, remember that you still need people. Call up a friend for a chat. Use the tools we have available like Skype and Facetime or Zoom to connect with more than voices if you can; so much meaning is communicated with body language. Even a quick SMS or WhatsApp message to connect with a friend will remind you that you are not alone.

The church is trying to find ways we can virtually meet together, whether in groups using Zoom or one to one on the phone or Skype. The elders will strive to be in contact with all of our regulars. We don’t want to give up meeting together, and all the more as we see the Day approaching (Heb 10:25).

You are not alone. You are part of a church family, even when you cannot physically be with your other family members. Even when there is no-one in the same room. Sometimes we all need to be reminded of this.