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Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong Sunday 8am, 9:45am +livestream, 11:30am Easy English, 5pm and 7pm
This year was unlike any other for our wonderful SRE teachers, obviously because of COVID19. However, our teachers have persevered, adapted and been quite creative! In some cases, our school’s ministry has had significant ‘wins’ for the gospel and there has been opportunities and connections that we would have never imagined!
Our primary and high school scripture teachers began the year teaching at all our local primary and high schools as per usual in mid-February. We were already facing a few challenging obstacles in NSW school’s ministry, due to the SRE procedures changing the way students are enrolled in SRE. This meant there has been a small decline in student numbers across all schools. Our teams were chasing down every student and family, checking every roll, collecting every student form and following up every connection to make sure we kept as many students as we could in SRE classes. This was hard work and required tenacity and patience to be winsome with families and thorough in paperwork and relationships with school staff and systems.
Whilst doing this work and teaching the first few lessons, in March, just a few days after the Illawarra region-wide youth and kids outreach event ‘FREE TO BE’ (at the WIN entertainment centre), SRE was cancelled due to coronavirus. From this point onwards, our high school SRE teachers were still working with limited student numbers, as they are considered school staff. Overall, across both primary and high schools, we were wondering about the future, such as how to do Easter lessons and promote services, or could we do video / online lessons? The weeks and months to follow were hard work!
However, in the high schools over term 2, some scripture lessons occurred online and small Bible reading interest groups developed, involving students that wanted to connect and who were searching for answers to what was going on around them. God has clearly been moving in these kids because since July, SRE has been back on in schools! In some schools where we thought we would lose numbers, we gained them! Praise God for keeping SRE going in NSW throughout this time.
The key take-home for our scripture teachers, and I think a lesson for us all at Church, is follow up every person! Give them a call, check in regularly, keep asking people if they want to come to Church, watch online or read the Bible. You never know what might happen, people of all ages are searching, show them Jesus.