15th May 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I expect that like me you are finding the lockdown somewhat wearisome. It would be so good to be able to meet face to face! Those brief times when that has been possible, even at a distance and in ones and twos, have brought such joy. It has confirmed for me that we really are ’embodied souls’ and that, however good video meetings are, they are a poor substitute.
We should not be surprised that this is so. We’re told that “the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:6). Each of us is a living being which is both formed and breathed into. To be human is to have a physical body, which is only confirmed by Jesus being given a body when he became man, and his body being raised from the dead and then ascending into heaven.
Still, it is important that we do not give up meeting together, but that we encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25) as best we can. So let me encourage you to join us not only for the service this Sunday but also the Zoom gathering afterwards. It’s far from perfect, but it will have to do until we have something better, as we long for the day when we can be together again.
This message contains what you need to know for this Sunday and the coming week or so.
Sunday 17th May
Our Sunday service will be available as usual on the church website. It should be available from Saturday evening for those who find that helpful.
The Family Bible Time on Jacob 3 – ‘Deceiving’ can be found here.
Please feel free to invite friends and family to our online services. You can share the link above. You can also follow our posts on Facebook and Instagram and share those. And there is an invitation flyer on the church website you can download and give to friends.
Following the service there will be the chance to meet together at 11.30am using Zoom, to catch up and pray together.
Church Family Quiz Evening – Saturday 16th May 8.00pm
Please join us on Zoom for an evening of team games and quizzes, suitable for all ages 7-107, organised by our expert Games Master Chris Stonehouse. Have a pen and paper ready and there will be extra points if you are wearing an interesting hat! Prizes will be distributed when lockdown is over
We will continue with a daily opportunity to pray together: 12.30pm each weekday for 20 minutes, hosted by Andy Martin, Ben Wells or myself. There will be a short Bible reflection and then open prayer. It will be very relaxed and has been quite small.
A number of people have asked how we can care for the community. We’ve had very little response within the parish to our offers of help so far, and the experience of most of us living close to church is that everyone is being well-supported by family, friends and neighbours.
However, we know that the need elsewhere in Birmingham is huge. St Germain’s, North Edgbaston, are on the front line and we would like to support them, if we can. Helen Hobbs is coordinating some baking for them so please contact her if you can help. They also need lots of supplies and there are further details on our website of how you can help with that, along with details of other initiatives. If you can help with collecting and delivering food supplies from church family members to St Germain’s please let Andy Martin know as soon as possible.
Perhaps we should see our longing to be with one another again face-to-face as a sign of a deeper longing for the day when we will be face-to-face with the Lord, when “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). What a day that will be!
Your warmly, in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister)