Yandina Standing Apart Staying Together

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Reverend David Tidey, Yandina Baptist Minister

As Yandina celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2020, the most extraordinary chapter of our community’s history is being written daily as we all face the challenges of COVID-19.

YADCA is sharing stories of courage, sacrifice, ingenuity and hope as we lock down, slow down and power down to help beat the global pandemic.

In our first story, Yandina Baptist Minister, Reverend David Tidey, explains that his church has gone online to keep people connected.

“When it was announced that we could no longer physically congregate, we adapted by pre-recording our services and uploading them online,” he says.

The response has been more than positive. Where a Sunday congregation at the Yandina Baptist Church might normally attract about 60 adult worshippers, David’s new online offering has recorded up to 180 views.

He explains it as a kind of ‘DIY’ Sunday service.   “I record the service including the Welcome, the message and announcements.  My wife Janelle edits and uploads that to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/yandinabap  and the webpage www.yandinabaptist.org  along with other parts such as the prayer list, links to youtube songs to sing or listen to, questions for quiet reflection and other focuses.”

“We break the service into components and our worshippers can assemble it themselves.  It’s sort of flatpack worship,” he jokes.

After the online service, parishioners can log into an informal session for questions and answers or just chat, using the ZOOM meeting app, and connect with the Reverend that way.  “We have had upwards of 40 people joining us that way and it’s great,” he says.

Delivering worship online takes much more time in recording and editing.  “It’s so different for me. It’s time consuming and it does feel somewhat disconnected from my perspective, but the response has been good.”

The Palm Sunday service drew 180 views and 125 on Good Friday.

Asked how he thinks people are feeling at the moment, David says he thinks his congregation is generally doing okay.

“Of course there is frustration and some loneliness. And it’s financially difficult for people in business or who have lost work, and those retirees who rely on their investment returns while the share market is down.

“But we call people to stay in touch. We have a system we call ‘phone triplets’ where one person commits to call two particular people every week. We also have a group of people who have committed to call a number of our regulars each week, just to say “hi”.  And, we are encouraging everyone who is able to connect with neighbours.  If we are going to the shops, we will offer to pick up some things for our older neighbours.  Lots of people in our Yandina community are doing that.”