Lockdown and WBC
Evening, and Morning, And at Noon, Will I pray and cry aloud.
And he shall hear my voice. Psalm 55:17
Before I share practically what this means for us as a church as your Pastor I want to share what I think this means spiritually for you and us and what the Lord is saying to us.
We are to abide by the government advice and where possible stay in our homes. Isaiah 26:20
Our purpose to stay in our homes has an extra dimension and purpose – so we can pray. Matthew 6:6
Everyone of us is called at this time to pray Evening, Morning and Noon and the Lord will hear our prayers. (we are doing online prayers Mon -Fri at 12pm) Psalm 55:17
Our prayers should be infused with scripture. So read scripture before you pray to know what to pray for, pray scripture and read scripture at end to hear the Lord’s answer. John 15.7
We should be humbling ourselves so we can pray. We humble ourselves by living more simply. This includes technology which is a good servant but a bad master. Revisit your routines and choose simplicity. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Let us encourage one another by meeting together in other ways – by Zoom, telephone, email, WhatApp, Skype……… We use these to bring encouragement (not gossip of fear). So try reading scripture and praying over these formats. Let’s keep talking and encouraging one another. Hebrews 10:25
As we do this let us trust that the Lord will hear our prayers (Psalm 55:17); reward us (Matt 6:6) with ‘perfect peace’ (Isaiah 26:3) and ‘heal our land’ (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Please weigh this up and discern if this is just good advice or more significantly Godly advice.
So what does this mean practically. As you hopefully know the Church is now on lockdown and cannot be opened up as a public space. (We cannot even use it for funerals which will now all take place at a crematorium or graveside with immediate family.) So what will church life look like..
Sunday Worship; Life groups; midday prayers – we will still ask and encourage you to meet with other Christians twice a week but from your own home.
This now needs to be done on our computers, tablets or smart phones with something called ‘Zoom’.Sunday morning at 10:30am You will receive an email on Sunday morning from either Esther or myself about 10am with a link you will need to click. You will then be asked to join Zoom by giving an email address and creating a password. You will then be connected and you will be able to see us! If you want to practice do try joining us on Zoom for one of our midday prayers (Esther or me will send out a link for this). Life groups (including youth groups) will operate the same way but your life group leader will send you an email with a link. It sounds more complicated than it is – Ian & Sheila are now experts on using Zoom!
We will also be attempting to show some of the content on Facebook live as we did last week – but Zoom will be a far fuller and better experience.
We will be also trying to stream midday prayers on Zoom and Facebook. Monday to Friday. (But even if you can’t join us do use the liturgy that Esther produced)
If this all worries or confuses you please give myself or Esther a phone call. Or if you do not have the necessary equipment again please let Esther or myself know.
If you have any urgent need for Pastoral or Spiritual care have no hesitation in calling me (07990835246) or Esther (07752 877156) and this certainly applies to anything that cannot be done by phone or online. Please do ask if you need help with supplies. The foodbank is still operating for the most vulnerable (We may be asking for extra donations for the foodbank in the coming days)
We have taken the opportunity to divide you all up into a pastoral care group (which for most people is there life group). The leader of this group (along with a designated faith leader) will take responsibility for checking how you are. One of these will hopefully be in touch with you by the end of the week so you know who they are. They will be good first point of call if you are not sure of anything. If you have not heard from anyone by the end of the week please do get in touch with me.
Please do call me or Esther with any questions or concerns. We would love to hear your voice anyway.
And a simple response to this email is to NOW call or message someone to encourage them to say you are thinking of them and praying for them and love them. And then say a prayer with them. (particularly any key workers who are probably working even harder than normal)
It is a blessing to be part of such an amazing family.
Warmly in Jesus,