Dear Brothers and Sisters,
A lot has changed because of the coronavirus outbreak, and we are all learning new ways of doing things. Some of us even find ourselves using ‘apps’ we didn’t know existed until this week! There are many things that have not changed, however, and one of those is our vision as a church. It’s just that we’re having to think through how to do things in these changed circumstances:
making disciples of Jesus
to bring glory to God our Saviour
through prayerfully speaking God’s word
wherever we are
The purpose of this email is to let you know how we are going to do Sunday services, as well as a few other things that have become clearer since my last email on Tuesday.
We are planning to pre-record a simple service and to make it available on the church website (www.sssw.org.uk) from 10am every Sunday. We shall be following the morning sermon series, so Andy Martin will be preaching this Sunday on Romans 3:21-26. There will also be a chance to interact with one another via Zoom at 11.30am (hopefully when most of us have been able to watch the service). Tom Bryant will email you tomorrow with details of how to access both the service and the Zoom conversation this Sunday. Sadly, because of copyright issues, it won’t be possible at the moment to have singing in the service. We do hope, however, to include links to the hymns/songs, so you can pause and sing if you wish. We are very much feeling our way with all this, so no doubt there will be improvements to be made along the way.
Youth and Children
Alongside the Sunday service, Helen Buckley and Tom Bryant are aiming to add a short interactive video Bible time for families to enjoy together. This will include material that can be printed out and completed later on. They are also looking into ways for some of our children’s and youth groups to meet ‘virtually’ during the week, and we will keep you updated. The family devotional material will be available here.
We will be emailing Fellowship Group leaders separately to explain our plans in more detail. In essence, we are hoping that Fellowship Groups will be able to meet via Zoom. This seemed to work very well for the prayer meeting on Wednesday evening. Naturally, Fellowship Groups will be the main means of looking after one another spiritually during this time, and it will also enable some of us to focus on those who are not in Fellowship Groups.
There is a small Discretionary Fund available to help anyone in the church family who is in financial need at this time. Please let me know of anyone you know who requires such assistance (including yourself!). Please also let me know if you would like to give to this fund in order to support others, and I will find out how you can do that.
Caring for the Community
Several people are thinking through how we can best encourage and co-ordinate caring for vulnerable and needy people in the community beyond the church, and we hope to be in touch with further details next week.
Yours warmly, in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister/Vicar)
20 March 2020