I hope that this email finds you well and in good spirits.
I thought I would send a quick message out about Sunday. As you are aware we are not gathering in person at Robertswood, or at Gold Hill. In keeping with Hebrews 10:25 we will not give up meeting together. This can be done though in three different ways: 1) You can meet with those in your household. Have a time of prayer and worship, open up the Bible together and take time exploring it. PRAY – 22 March Pack.pdf Here is a resource pack that you may wish to use to help. Alternatively there are plenty of resources online that could be of assistance. 2) You can meet online. Gold Hill will be livestreaming a time of worship, prayer and encouragement from Scripture at 10am. This is accessible at www.goldhill.org/stream 3) You can meet on the phone. Calling someone to talk and pray and share scripture could be something you are already doing or choose to do this Sunday. If you would like to join a congregation meeting through the phoneline (national rate number) then I will be hosting a conference call congregation (also at 10 am) that can be accessed through the following: Dial: 03300 945 940 Room number: 84528918 # Guest PIN: 2409 # Please pass these numbers onto those you know who aren’t online so that they can join together with a service of some description.
Many of us will be aware that this Sunday is Mother’s Day. We thank God for the Mother figures in our lives. Those who have loved and nurtured us as a mother. We also pray for the ministry of those who stand in as a parent and foster and those who adopt. For the work of Home for Good also.
Sunday has also been set aside as a National Day of Prayer. We are joining with Christians around the nation to pray and ask Jesus to bring a stop to the virus spreading and to bring about healing to those impacted. Please join in this prayer. If you would like to join in symbolically also by lighting a candle at 7 pm that is what Churches Together are encouraging. ‘A light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it’ John 1:5
Please keep contact with one another and looking out for each other and friends and neighbours around us.
is still Lord! In the fast-changing and challenging situation that we are
in, it is crucial for us to remember that. He is the focus of our faith and
hope He sits on Heaven’s throne, and in Him our faith is steadfast and certain.
light of Government guidance published yesterday we want to share some things
that won’t change for us as a church family and some things that will.
UNCHANGING: WHO WE ARE
Who Jesus has called us to be as a
church family has not changed. Whilst we cannot gather in the same we are
encouraging us all even more to BEchurch rather than
simply DO church. We remain completely committed to being
unashamedly about Jesus and helping people find their way back to God.
To help us live this out in this season we are highlighting four key
principles for our church family to help us respond. They are
explored more in this document (Be Church.pdf) which can be
printed out or viewed on a device. The headlines are:
– We will PRAY in God’s name.
– We will PROMOTE God’s Kingdom.
– We will PROCLAIM Good News.
– We will PROTECT Ourselves and Others.
to hear more of these ideas as we move forward with all that’s going on.
CHANGING: HOW WE ARE WHO WE ARE
Whilst there are things that will not change, there are a number of things that will. The biggest of these is that there will be no central gatherings at Hope. Gold Hill will be live streaming (via their website) at 10am on Sundays. It will initially include worship, a message and prayer. This will be the only stream on Sundays. Life Groups and prayer meetings will not be able to meet face-to-face.
There will be material and resources online and via email equipping and encouraging folk to BE church. This will include: online mid-week prayer times/life groups/discovery Bible Studies online. Hardcopies of resources and communication will go to those not online where possible. One resource that many in the community have already been using is this little flyer..
Children and Youth teams are ceasing to meet centrally but are preparing resources for families and systems of connection with the children, young people and families.
Pastoral visits will be done online or over the phone and other means as appropriate. As with most families, everyone looks out for everyone and not just one individual. This needs to continue to be the same with Hope. Please keep in touch with people, pray for them, see what they need. If you go into self-isolation or fall unwell, please let me know directly.
This coming Sunday, we are going to join with thousands (if not millions) of other Christians in a Day of Prayer. This will be the theme of our stream at 10am. I am working out a way of helping folk engage with a gathering if they don’t have internet. Watch this space.
God bless you, and may He strengthen and embolden each of us to be His hands,
feet, voice and heart in the coming days.
The next few weeks/months are likely to be challenging in many ways. Some of us will need to find ways to keep children entertained if they are required to practise social distancing and/or cannot to attend school. A few years ago we published this guide for low cost activities for the summer holidays. It provides some helpful ideas which could be adapted for current circumstances.