What a fast moving few days… Below is a brief outline of what is happening over the next few days and what you can expect to hear more about in the future.
As I mentioned on Sunday, at this time we need to hang onto and pray through the truth and the promises of Scripture.
‘If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.’
As our country and our world continues to face the huge changes due to Coronavirus we need to be people of faith and not fear; we need to be people of wisdom and not worry. Wisdom is something many people have been praying for over the last few days and weeks, whether for themselves or for others. Indeed, we as Elders and Leaders have been praying for wisdom.
On Sunday evening, 15th March, the Elders and Leaders met together to discuss a contingency plan for how we can continue in our discipleship, remain in fellowship—albeit from distance—and continue to serve and witness to our community. On Sunday night this was mainly hypothetical. In light of the announcement yesterday we will now be moving more quickly to implement some of these measures.
Following the announcement from the Government yesterday I can confirm that there will be no church service at Pinhoe Road on Sunday morning. This will be the case for the foreseeable future. This is also the recommendation of the Baptist Union and is wise as we seek to love our neighbours, slow down the spread of the Coronavirus and give the NHS every opportunity to deal with the inevitable pressure it will face.
With this decision we are also cancelling Life Groups and other meetings. Where possible we hope to able to have meetings using video calling or over the phone. More on this to follow soon.
Initial Next Steps…
In the coming days we are going to trial a number of options to allow us to hear from God’s word and pray together on Sunday morning. Once we are settled on a solution you will be updated and given all the necessary information for us to be able to be church together on Sunday. You will be welcome to share this with your family and friends.
We are also working as a team to be able to support and care for all those who will isolate themselves due to being ill or face lengthy periods of isolation through social distancing. We will look to make sure that everyone is supported in the best way possible. One of the ways we can do this is to pick up the phone or send an email. Not just the elders, not just the leaders – all of us! We can chat, read the bible, pray, talk about the weather or whatever! If you know someone from the congregation who doesn’t receive emails you could even read this letter to them!
We are also going to look at creative ways in which those of us who can, will be able to offer support to our community and our city.
In a few weeks time we are going to be finishing Radical Jesus and as we move from Luke’s Gospel to Acts we will begin a new series, ‘Radical Church.’ The season we now find ourselves in is a time for us to look at practical ways to be Radical Church. I have no doubt that we will find inspiration in Acts and discover a number of practical illustrations over the coming days and weeks.
As we face this unprecedented time together I continue to pray daily the words of Psalm 91 for my friends and family, for our church and for all those we all hold dear.
I will be in touch soon with further updates and hopefully encouragement too. I value and thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement.
Grace + Peace
‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.’
For further updates from the Baptist Union please follow this link https://baptist.org.uk/Articles/569038/Coronavirus_advice_for.aspx