An Update from our Leadership
In this exceptional time of challenge from COVID-19, we wanted to give an update as to what the ministry of FICM/An Tobar Nua looks like in this season of shelter-in-place in Ireland.
As Irish schools were closed country-wide in March, our school ministry is halted for this time, but our Retreats Team continues to collaborate remotely on curriculum for next year’s retreats and this summer’s camps, including a YouTube video series.
The Café and Bookshop were also closed in March. Our small on-site team performed deep-cleaning and building maintenance during the first weeks of the café’s closure. In addition, we are tapping into the resourcefulness of our varied and multi-talented team and working on administrative and creative projects remotely.
Our Scripture School, while unable to hold classes in our facility, still continues via video conferencing.
Our counseling services continue over video conferencing and telephone.
While we have taken steps to mitigate against the effects of closing the cafe and bookshop and the loss of donations from the school Retreat Ministry to help us in the short term, we remain focused on taking care of our team members. Some of our costs have increased (software and video conferencing), and our building costs, although reduced from decreased operations, continue with our team members living on site.
We are having regular small-group and individual check-ins with our team members and leadership via video conference, especially our MEVs who are still in Ireland, and are happy to report that morale is very good. We have established a prayer room to keep us all up to date on needs and continuing ministry through video- and tele-counseling and we are reaching out to people in the community with encouragement.
But, certainly the most important thing that has come from this halt-of-normal-life is the ability to spend time in prayer, Scripture, reflection and seeking the Lord for His hand in moving forward. As a team, we meet remotely via video conference on our regular work days and it has been a sweet connection that has drawn us closer to one another even as we move closer to God.
Although it looks different right now, we remain committed to our purpose and passion!