Saturday 21st November saw Norwich Anglican Cursillo embrace new technology and join the” Zoom” revolution. In response to the very necessary restrictions during the Covid 19 pandemic which has seen face to face meetings severely curtailed, and following careful and meticulous preparation by a crack team of determined operators, NAC went “on air” for our first Virtual Ultreya.
Assisted in no small measure by our technical consultant, Leroy, from Mattishall and Tudd Valley Churches, Jackie, Bill and Barbara put together an on-line version of the regular Diocesan Ultreya Service. Further assisted by Linda who put together a comprehensive words and music package the result has been remarkably well received by the 25+ members of the Cursillo 4th Day Community (both locally and elsewhere), who were in attendance. The only thing missing was of course the traditional sumptuous bring and share refreshments which normally follow. They say Cursillo food has no calories, well unless our visitors indulged after they logged off, this meeting was no different!
All the elements normally associated with an Ultreya were present. Singing of favourite hymns (in one case sung solo for us by Sue T from Kings Lynn, well done Sue for responding to our request), Floating Group Reunions in “Breakout Rooms” (Zoom-speak for small groups), and a Witness Talk during which our recently appointed SD, Revd Steve Wright introduced himself to the Community as well as describing some aspects of his own calling to ministry. This was of course unusual as the witness talk is normally given by a lay member. We were however able to field our National Spiritual Director, Revd Stephen Bowring who gave the Spiritual Response to Steve’s talk. Both talks were particularly inspirational for their listeners. The first session of the event concluded with intercessions on behalf of the community led by Jeanie, recently appointed to the BACC Standing Committee as Area Representative for the Eastern Region.
Following a short intermission the business part of the Ultreya commenced with singing and then the reports from Lay Director, Barbara, Spiritual Director, Steve, Treasurer, Roger and BACC Rep, Bill.
The Ultreya concluded with further singing and the Blessing by our SD.
Feed-back from many participants has been 100% positive and the production team have been inspired to consider doing another one in the new year. Members of Secretariat have been further encouraged in this by news from other diocese whilst “attending” the BACC AGM last week, of their own experiences of Zoom meetings.
Many of our respondents were particularly moved by the words of a poem from the Iona Community quoted by Jeanie in her prayers: We will meet when the danger is over, We will meet when the sad days are done. We will meet sitting closely together and be glad our tomorrow has come.
So borne up by the opportunity to meet together (albeit remotely) let us go forward strengthened in our faith and in fellowship.