April 2021: Comfort and Connection
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Isaiah 40:1
There are times when God feels more hidden than present. As the pandemic stretches on, we are a people much in need of comfort, of good news. In the face of heightened isolation, loss, and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA) is living out their faith, embodying the message of hope, of comfort, found in Isaiah 40:1-11 through finding creative and meaningful ways to worship and stay connected.
As has been the case with many churches worldwide, LECSA churches stopped gathering for in-person worship for several months. During that time, LECSA broadcast devotions and worship services on the church’s radio station. LECSA also developed a weekly worship service via Zoom, open to all LECSA members in both South Africa and Lesotho. Leadership for the service rotates, with pastors and laypeople who are living in areas with the best access to the internet taking prominent roles in worship. As to be expected, hymns are a significant part of the service despite the online format. Lay people contribute by offering prayers, reading scripture, and serving as liturgists. And a Pastor from a different region each week offers the sermon. LECSA churches have reopened in recent months and are having socially distanced, as many of parishioners do not have the resources to be able to access the virtual service. The Zoom service continues to be offered, uniting congregations and providing those with access to technology who are either unable to or uncomfortable with going to church on Sunday mornings a way to be nourished spiritually.
LECSA members are living as people of faith, anchored in the presence of the living Christ, as they continue to seek connection and community, and bring comfort and hope to each other in the midst of the pandemic.
Danielle Murry-Knowles serves with the Lesotho Evangelical Church. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.