Week of Prayer 18th to 23rd October 2021
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ (Isaiah 30:20-21)
We are holding a week of prayer from Monday 18th to Saturday 23rd October. Please join us in person or online if you are able.
Monday 8-9 pm on Zoom only
Tuesday 8-9 pm in person at the church and also on Zoom
Wednesday 8-9 pm on Zoom only
Thursday 8-9 pm in person at the church and also on Zoom
Friday 8-9 pm on Zoom only.
Saturday Morning 9 am to 1 pm in person at the church and also on Zoom.
To access Zoom contact us for the link and passcode.
- We are praying about the way forward for us as a church as we emerge from Covid restrictions into the “new normal”.
- In particular we are praying about how we should be reaching out to the community with God’s love.
- We are also praying for God’s guidance with regard to the project to develop our building.
Here is some background information which will help you in your prayers.
We were very grateful to have maintained our Sunday gatherings and our Tuesday Draw Near To God prayer meeting throughout the Covid lockdowns using Zoom, as well as other forms of contact including Facebook, WhatsApp, our website and the weekly Newsletter.
We are very happy to be meeting once again in person on Sunday mornings and to be sharing those “hybrid” events on Zoom and also livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. A good number of people also watch those videos. We meet on Zoom only on Sunday evenings and typically more than 30 people catch up with the video recordings of those messages later in the week. Draw Near To God on Tuesdays now takes place in person at the church and people are able not just to watch but to join in fully from home using Zoom.
We hope to restart Toddler Group on Mondays and Drop In on Fridays soon. We don’t think we have the volunteers we would need to open Café again at this point. Our children and young people have not returned to our Sunday morning gatherings yet.
So we are very much praying for God’s guidance about the activities we should run as we go forward. Are there new activities we should start to serve and reach out to the community? We are planning to run as many as possible of our usual Christmas activities in person this year, but this will depend on what will be permitted at the time.
With regard to redeveloping the church building, thank you so much to all who have given so generously to the special appeal we launched last month. The appeal of course remains open. So far we do not have sufficient funds to proceed with the project. Also we have not received yet all the information we need from the architect, in particular an indication of how much we should have in hand for “contingencies” over and above the “fixed price” quoted in the appeal leaflet.
One possibility would be for the church to take out a loan to cover the shortfall, and any contingencies. We will discuss this possibility at our Special Church Members’ Meeting on Sunday but will not be making any decision then. More details of this possibility will be sent to church members later this week by email or in the post.
Looking beyond this year, as many folk will already have realised, Peter has reached that age where he is expecting to retire from ministry some time during 2022. At that point the church will enter a period of “pastoral vacancy” which is very unlikely to be less than six months – most churches typically take between a year and three years to find their next minister. Such periods allow churches to build up their finances, or to pay off any loans they may have. As part of deciding whether to finance the building work by taking out a loan, the church will need to consider prayerfully whether we hope to find a minister quickly, or whether we are prepared for a longer pastoral vacancy.
If you have any questions about any of these matters, please talk to Peter or any of the Deacons.
Please pray that God will guide us all to the right ways forward in the days ahead. If you believe God is saying anything to us in these matters, please tell Peter or any of the Deacons.