The Surprise Online Hit of Lockdown … | The Salvation Army

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The Surprise Online Hit of Lockdown …

Carla stands in the foreground in front of a group of retired women having a picnic.
Posted November 30, 2021

The surprise hit of Waikato’s lockdown was none other than ‘Home League Online’. Originally created for the thriving group of over 50 women at Hamilton City Corps, the word quickly spread and others near and far started tuning in.

Hosted by Carla Lindsey, it really does make for delightful viewing. In Episode 2, Carla begins with some kind but firm words regarding the emerging traffic light system – reassuring us that we shouldn’t be anxious, and nor should we just ‘do our own thing’. In her kind and reassuring manner, she says, ‘We will work it out in time, so don’t be anxious’. Good words for all of us!

‘Jokes with Jayden’ has proved to be a crowd favourite. They are delivered by Carla’s 24-year-old son Jayden, who has celebral palsy – his style is classic ‘dad joke’:

What did one plate say to the other?

Dinner’s on me.

Boom boom!

In the same episode, Carla shows us some stunning Christmas decorations and wrapping ideas made with sliced oranges dehydrated in the oven (for around 3 hours at 120C).

‘It’s about getting together, encouraging each other, crying with each other, and just having a break.’

As someone who is not crafty at all, I genuinely enjoyed watching her make beautiful things without having the pressure of doing it myself. (I finally understand why people watch sports!)

If I was to compare Home League Online to a TV show, it would be Anne of Green Gables – charming, fun and featuring plucky female characters.

The importance of being connected

Carla is a third generation Home Leaguer – she inherited a love for her gorgeous homemade asethetic from them. Yet she’s adamant that it’s not the programmes that are important, it’s the people. At the heart of Home League is connection:

‘I asked the ladies, what would be the thing you never want to lose from Home League? They all straight away said “It’s the connection, it’s the chance to have a chat”. It took quite a long time for them to say, and “Yes we do have a good programme and speakers and a nice morning tea as well”, but that was really far down the list,’ she laughs.

As if to enforce the point, Carla and I are having coffee at Hamilton Lake when a large group of Home League ladies walk past us. It’s pure coincidence: ‘These group of women have organized themselves to go out and have a picnic, and we’ve got another group who are going walking – they are creating these connections, and we have to be creative in how we can support women to connect in the way that works for them,’ explains Carla.

This is especially true of younger women, who are busy working or with families, adds Carla. Twice a year, Hamilton City Corps organizes a ‘Girls Night Out’ – a chance to enjoy a special evening just for women. Last year, because Covid had made it difficult to plan, they had to keep it simple:

‘So we just said, we’ll all going to go this this café, turn up. It was the easiest thing ever and everyone loved it, it was just a buzz,’ recalls Carla. ‘It’s about getting together, encouraging each other, crying with each other, and just having a break.’

To watch Home League online, join Hamilton City Women’s Ministries Facebook Page.