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As for many of you, I’m sure you have found your social life altered by COVID-19. Many adjustments have been made. Perhaps a new video calling platform has been introduced to your life. In my current reality, video calls have been a pivotal feature in connecting; connecting for work, connecting with friends, and connecting for courses.  

For events that once revolved around physical, human connection, this shift has been jarring. Community meals make up a significant portion of my weekly routine - one of which is hosted to meet newcomers to the city. In this collaboration between Tenth Church and Killarney Park MB Church, we put a halt to our biweekly meals until further notice. What first started as not meeting at all in person has turned into weekly online gatherings.  

Though awkward at times (I mean, only so many people can speak at once. And by so many, I mean one), the joy is there. The desire to connect and be in relationship with one another is there.  

Some memorable highlights:

  • How many digits of pi do you know? Well, one up and coming teenager has memorized over 300 numbers after the decimal. When asked why, he retorted with why not?
  • A little child innocently asking her parents: "How much longer is this going to take?" (in reference to these video meetings)
  • Seeing faces that we typically are unable to meet! At times our dinners can be hard for individuals to participate in for various reasons. But this has been an opportunity to reconnect with old faces, and to even meet new people. 
  • The depth of conversation. Perhaps it’s the effect of meeting new people which makes it easier to open up to, or perhaps it’s the mentality of only talking to a 2-D screen rather than a real, 3-D human being. But there was much that is uncovered during conversations. Personally, the most poignant conversation surrounds the struggles of being a female back in others’ home countries and what some needed to leave behind – the answer being everything. Literally. Everything. – in hopes of finding a better opportunity in Canada. And even then, nothing is guaranteed. New ventures are rarely smooth. Consequently and unsurprisingly, being faced with the realities of others is incredibly heavy. As such, it provides the space for reflection on what others encounter in their lives and the importance of continuing to be a supportive and welcoming presence to one another.  

As appreciative as I am of alternative connecting methods, I miss hanging out with people in person. Physical distancing and social isolation are challenging. I prefer connecting not through a screen. However, we need to work with what we have. And I think what we have had has been pretty special so far.


Hannah Wong serves in Local and Global Missions at Tenth and has a special knack for connecting with newcomer families and singles.