On the Threshold of January 2021
The Christmas decorations are back in their boxes and the New Year is here with a new “normal routine”. Let me first, wish you all the best for 2021.
We cross the threshold from old to new with a lot of open-ended questions. Yes, it is great the new vaccines give us hope, but also new mutations of the virus dampen expectations about the future. What will 2021 bring for the English-speaking community in The Hague? What are the consequences of Covid and Brexit? How will the international schools, organizations and churches in the city be affected? What hard choices do we have to make as a result of all this?
We are uncertain about the long-term psychological, financial and social consequences of what 2020 left us. The New Year’s resolution from the Church of Our Saviour is to continue our mission statement in the best way we can. Not by getting frustrated about all the restrictions but by investing in what can be done during this challenging time.
During the last year, many people came to the parish for some form of assistance, counseling, and spiritual support. During a time that many other doors were closed, the church and office remained open by appointment. This was – and is – especially important to people who are not so familiar with the constantly changing rules and regulations. Many non-Dutch speaking people in the city experience isolation and loneliness.
That is why I would like to start this first month of the year by thanking all the volunteers and staff who offered a listening ear and a helping hand. You were all the cement that kept the bricks of society together. Secondly, the gift of a living faith that produces fruits like prayer and solidarity continues to be a precious instrument of comfort, joy, and healing. The fact that so many people who come back into the church, after a long time of absence, with a feeling of deep gratitude and emotion, shows that the church is much more than just a place of worship; it is also family for those far away from home.
If during this New Year, we manage to maintain that family spirit and benefit from our spirituality in such a way that it continues to offer a real relevant service to body and soul, then we can truly consider ourselves blessed. We need each other to achieve this beautiful mission. If we call “COS” the Church of Our Saviour, then it means that together with Christ we do our best to save the planet and the people through humble loving service, or as Pope Francis calls the church: “being a field hospital ready to welcome those in need”.