Dear brothers and sisters,
As you know the government has given permission for churches, subject to various restrictions, to gather for worship. In anticipation of this, we have been discussing how and when we should reopen our building and recommence in-person services. In a real sense this is not about reopening our church! We thank God that his word has not been chained, worship has continued, and the gospel witness has continued in word and deed. I am so grateful for the way so many of you have risen to this challenge and served the Lord these past months, and for the significant new connections we have been making in our communities.
In order to aid our planning and preparations we would like you to complete this simple online survey as soon as possible, and certainly by Wednesday 29th July at the latest. You will notice there are two pages, the first, more general for the whole congregation, and the second, for parents of children and youth. We recognise that everyone feels different about returning to the church building for services and it will be really helpful to have this information so we can understand the numbers returning.
When it comes to resuming services a number of factors are important in our preparation:
1. Prayer – we want to seek the Lord’s guidance in this complex and changing situation.
2. Technology – we want to take forward the advances we’ve made through online content.
3. Together – we want to make this transition as one body, making every effort not to exclude anyone.
This means during August we will be trialing in-person services and we will begin next Sunday 2nd August with the 6pm Evening Service. We will also be experimenting with streaming the service live for those unable to attend. Of course, there will be the necessary safety system in place when you arrive, you will be required to sign in for track and trace purposes. Further information about this and morning services will follow next week.
Finally, a couple of short notices to end this week’s update:
1. This Sunday services are as normal, 10am for the online service and 6pm for the Zoom service.
2. Please note the church is open for private prayer/reflections at a slightly later time, 10am to 1pm.
3. Small Groups: you may recall that in the Spring we were in a phase titled ‘Refresh, Refocus, Relaunch‘. I am pleased to say that you will be hearing (from me, Victoria and Chris) further details about this in the coming weeks.
I am excited that we are finally moving towards some in-person services. Please keep praying about this as we move forward together. In Matthew 16.18 Jesus says ‘I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’ These are the first words on Jesus’ mouth after Peter declares that he’s the Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus announces that, as Christ, his personal purpose and task is to build his church. This promise should give us great hope and certainty for his church will ultimately succeed – nothing, not even hell, and certainly no lockdown will overcome it!
Yours in Christ, Eddie
Don’t forget to join us straight after church for our weekly virtual
refreshments. We’d love to see you, catch up & chat.
Meeting ID: 875 8169 6484
Join us at 6 pm on Sunday for our Live Evening Service
Meeting ID: 871 3762 3729