We have now received the Government Guidelines on opening of churches for worship and the BU interpretation of those guidelines. You can find these online here.
The Deacons will be discussing these soon. Because of restrictions including limited numbers and a ban on singing, we think it unlikely that we will want to start Sunday services again before September at the earliest. We will consult the whole church before any plans are made.
Now is the time for us all to begin to think and pray and discuss what church life might look like in the months to come. Last week I sent around by email and posted on Facebook a short article on “Church Life After Covid19”. You can find that online here. http://pbthomas.com/thoughts/?p=579
Please do reflect on that article. Here are some helpful questions to think and pray about. We will arrange ways to discuss them together as a church soon.
The Lockdown and Me
‘Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.’ (Colossians 4:2)
- How has the lockdown experience impacted my walk with the Lord?
- What areas of my life has God been refining?
- What habits have I begun that I want to continue?
The Lockdown and Our Church
‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ (Matthew 11:28-30)
- What have we missed the most about church?
- Are there any things we’ve felt relieved to stop doing, things that we won’tmiss?
- What kinds of support and activities are we offering in person and online, and why?
- Have there been advantages to doing things in this way?
Exiting Lockdown and Beyond
‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’ (Isaiah 43:18-19)
- Are there things we were doing before lockdown that should not be restarted?
- Are there things we have started doing in lockdown that should continue?
- Are there new things that God is calling us to start?
- People are now familiar with connecting online – how can we maximise this new way of meeting in all areas of church life?
- How can we allocate our financial and people resources to achieve this?
- What may be the enduring pastoral needs caused by lockdown – economic, emotional, spiritual, medical – that we will need to respond to?
- How can we share the gospel with people in this new context?
As we said on Sunday morning, perhaps the most important thing as we move forward as a church is that we do so in unity together.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3)