Update 21 April
Dear church family
As the current restrictions are extended no doubt for many, if not all of us continuing to live in this way will become harder. Being apart from each other is also difficult, and I am sure if you are like me, you are missing joining together at the church. It is however encouraging to see how we have all embraced different ways of staying connected with one another.
I wanted to begin by expressing our thanks to you all for embracing this challenging time whilst we are apart. When we made the decision to suspend gatherings at the church we did so with a heavy heart, knowing that by doing so it would impact us all. I hope and pray that during this time we are not meeting together at the church, you are being blessed and encouraged as you listen to the online services, log into the virtual prayer meetings or in your own conversations and interactions with others.
I also want to express our thanks to all those who are involved in our Sunday services, as well those involved with Sunday School on WhatsApp, as well as Juniors and Youth on Zoom.
So where do we go from here?
Following the latest government advice, Ben and I have been thinking through the plans for the coming weeks making sure they are both sustainable and continue to support and care for you all both practically and spiritually. Therefore, until we are able to open the church building again, we have made a few changes.
Sundays - We have been having one full service at 10:30am, and then listening to a series by Paul Mallard recorded at the Aber Conference. This set up has been helpful for the last few weeks, and those who have listened to the sermons by Paul Mallard have been greatly blessed.
As we continue now in an extended period of restrictions we feel it is important to get back to some form of normality and as such from this Sunday we will be having two services one at 10:30am and the other at 6pm, streamed on our YouTube channel. In the mornings we will continue preaching through our series in Luke and from 3rd May we will resume our series in 1 Samuel.
In addition, we also feel it is important to include other people in the services, and so we are going to be asking others to read, pray and do children’s talks over the coming weeks.
If you have any suggestions on ways to improve our online services that would be helpful to you, please let Ben or Jon know.
Prayer - We will continue to meet on a Tuesday evening at 7:45pm on Zoom for a short devotional followed by prayer. However, we recognise that some are unable to join this, so we are thinking of ways in which we can include those who cannot access Zoom online.
If you are not able to join us for our Zoom prayer meeting, then it is important that we are still able to pray together, so we are hoping to send some prayer needs round on a weekly basis. In the coming weeks we are also hoping to have a day of prayer, we will communicate details of how this will work in the next week or so.
Pastoral needs - Ben and Jon are continuing to call those who are vulnerable and isolating each week, especially those who are not able to connect to our online services, prayer meeting or are not part of the WhatsApp group. We are also trying to keep in touch with all of you throughout this time, which in some senses has been one of the blessings of our prayer times on Zoom. Others are continuing to support the more vulnerable in our church family in the buddy system organised by Gareth and Yolande - Thank you to all those involved in this.
Other ministries - Juniors continues to meet on Zoom at 6:30pm every Friday and Youth are planning ways in which we can do some virtual meetings on Zoom too, over the last few weeks the Youth Leaders have met for prayer on Zoom.
If there is anything you need, if we can support you in any way or if you just need a chat, please let Ben or Jon know.
I want to leave you with these words of encouragement
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed....[therefore we do not lose heart...] (2 Corinthians 4:8, )
With much love and prayers, on behalf of the leadership