This month the re-scheduled Women as Church Conference went ahead on zoom. It brought together people from all over the world – primarily Australia, but Japan and the UK also got a look in! – to gather as a community to pray together, discuss faith experience, and dialogue with each other. It was great to hear from people with such diverse experiences, and shows what is possible now (since COVID) we think in terms of online communities of faith. We are no longer restricted to our local settings, but can connect and make community all over. (I presented on Queering the Imago Dei in Song with Who I Am – hopefully to be published somewhere some time!)
Last weekend, I launched my album Into Silence, a collection of ten original songs I’ve written since I started songwriting again in 2017. Despite lockdowns forcing me to reconceive the album, I’m pleased with how it has come together. Though, to paraphrase something Tina Beattie said about childbirth at the conference this week, it does feel a bit like my private parts are now my public parts!
We are slowly reaching a so-called COVID-normal here in Melbourne. School buildings are now bustling with the whole community back face-to-face, albeit still in masks and with ongoing additional precautions. But, with a 14 day average of cases per day in metro Melbourne of around 2, and with restrictions lifting, there is some hope that we might even be able to travel around the state and the country soon. It’s been a long 7 months!