Dear Brothers and Sisters
‘Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness’. Lamentations 3:22-23
If we haven’t realised it already, coming out of lockdown isn’t easy! This is true in just about every area of life and with it comes the challenge of ongoing change. Most of us find change difficult and I know that many of you are finding this an anxious and worrying time. Lamentations was written in challenging times of change, as people faced the desolation, trauma, and utter hopelessness following the fall of Jerusalem. When we face these times the only place to turn is to the Lord and know his loyal love that becomes the basis of true hope for the future – he is faithful!
Sunday Morning Services (9.15 and 11.15)
I am pleased to say that we are now opening both main morning services for people to attend in person. You are very welcome to come but please do not feel under any obligation, we do understand that many of you are not ready. Please also note that the 11.15am service will be livestreamed on the St John’s YouTube channel.
We are going to continue to have Zoom ‘Refreshments’ but this will be scheduled between the two services at 10.30am and the details are below. We can rejoice that we’ve reached this point but I am also aware that we still have a long way to go, especially due to the lack of singing, and wearing of face masks. Furthermore, at this stage we are NOT able to provide Creche or any Children’s Groups because of the restrictions. Children’s material will still be provided via the St John’s Children’s YouTube channel and Hannah will be sending an update to parents and carers.
Sunday Evening Service (6pm)
We continue to have the in-person evening service, which will also be livestreamed. We conclude our Summer ‘Refresh’ series with Psalm 26. We will also be taking the opportunity to say a final farewell to Wendy Goldthorpe who has faithfully served us as Church Administrator for the last 3 years.
Practical guidance for attendance morning or evening services:
- If you feel unwell, please do not attend.
- If you are worried about attending, please feel under no obligation to attend.
- Please bring your own face-mask, to be worn throughout the service.
- There will be no pew Bibles, so please bring your own or use your phone (church wifi details: nameSt John’s Guest, password Welcome0511).
- There will be no refreshments, but you are welcome to bring your own water bottle and take it away with you.
- It really helps if you arrive early!
- On arrival you will be greeted by the welcome stewards and asked to use the hand sanitiser.
- You will then be asked to register attendance for “track and trace” either manually or by using the QR code (only oneperson per household needs to do this).
- Then you will be directed to your seat via the one-way system (filling up from the front is a great help).
- Once seated, please limit any movement around the building. Households, please remain together; household hubs can sit together.
- Toilet facilities are available.
- Sadly, we are not yet permitted to sing during the service but there will be live music for prayer and reflection.
We all recognise just how challenging these last six months have been. There are many reasons for this: worry and fear, doubt and bereavement, we’ve also been confronted by many diverse social issues, and for some, God will have been showing us new things. I believe it’s going to be important as we come back together as a fellowship, that we have an opportunity to share with one another our experiences, our highs and lows, our joys and laments, because we’ve been apart for so long. During a time like this it’s easy for us to think that God is asleep but this is far from true ‘his compassion never fails‘!
With these thoughts in mind, I will initially be hosting two evenings, on Wednesday 9th and Monday 14th September from 8-9pm in church, under the title ‘Lockdown Conversations/Prayer’. There will be a chance for us to share our experiences, what the Lord has been saying to us, and pray. My heart is that these evenings will give us a forum to share together, to pray together, to focus us again on the gospel, and that we are one in Christ. Of course there will be the requirements for social distancing, masks and track and trace, but I do hope it’s a relaxed time to be with one another – you would be most welcome to bring your own refreshments!
If you have any questions about this please do get in touch.
With love and prayers, 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