Church meetings cancelled for the time being
The government’s recent advice to avoid pubs, restaurants and theatres has been clarified to include religious services. In light of this the National Ministry Team has made the decision to stop physical gatherings of the Church in the UK and Ireland effective immediately. This includes church services, bible studies and prayer groups where there is a direct risk of transmitting the Covid-19 virus. I know that a number of congregations have already had to take this step as meeting halls have become unavailable and speakers and worship leaders have had to self-isolate. Regretfully it has also become necessary to cancel the upcoming Scottish Retreat which was scheduled in April.
There is a lot of uncertainty about how long this will have to continue and as we face these difficult times there is a need to recognise that the Church is not just a time and a place to meet – it is the precious members of our denomination and our brother and sisters around the world. We are the Church – the body of Christ and God’s chosen instrument to share his love with the world and to witness to his Son Jesus Christ. Let us be the body of Christ not just in word, but also in deed. Let us, who have been gifted with the Spirit of the Risen Lord, rise to the challenges before us and find new ways to engage and connect with those around us.
To this end we encourage you all to seek ways in which you can continue to participate in Christ’s ministry even though we are no longer able to meet together face to face – perhaps this might be through encouraging telephone calls, emails, WhatsApp messages or social media to those who might be struggling during this period of isolation. Perhaps it through assisting our neighbours with shopping if they are not able to go out themselves. Perhaps you have your own ideas that you want to pursue in this regard.
From a national perspective we have a number of resources available during this time, if you don’t already receive them you can get daily bible studies at DaybyDay. Our Because website also has 3 new posts a week. If as a result of the government social-distancing request you have more time on your hands, perhaps you might even like to write an bible study or article for consideration (you can send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com respectively).
In addition to this we are hoping we will be able to livestream a message at 11am on Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend. We are still working out some of the technical details of this and will announce more information via the homepage of this website when it becomes available.
We will also confirm, when it becomes clear, when we will be able to resume having physical meetings again. While they may not be able to meet you in person, if you have any pastoral needs during this time please continue to contact our elders and pastoral council members who I am sure will be willing to help.
For those of you who wish to give to the church during this time but would normally donate in Church we obviously would appreciate your continued support for the work we do for God’s Kingdom. We have a number of different ways you can donate to us and you can see these on our giving page.
Please take care in this time of uncertainty and may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
On behalf of the National Ministry Team