As I write, I’m acutely aware of the many changes and the ongoing challenges to health and life since COVID-19 was defined a pandemic.
It seems a life time since those of us in the UK were asked to change our ways of working and living, following many other countries asking for the same.
I recall the sadness in my heart as I placed signs on the church doors telling the outside world that the building was closed. Yet the church is alive and strong.
I am greatly encouraged by the number of people we have been able to reach out to via our online services and for the recent surveys showing increasing numbers of people turning to prayer and online services.
We hear of amazing testimonies, where God is at work as he breathes new life and transformation in those who have turned and given their lives to Jesus.
This is a challenging time in many ways, a time when it is easy to think and fear for others. I worry about the children in my life, my wife and our families who are frontline workers. I worry for friends who suffer with anxiety or are needing treatment for illnesses. I think about our brothers and sisters in Christ and many friends working in healthcare as doctors, nurses, health-workers, as well as those in the service industry or in policy roles who are forced to face this pandemic head on. I think about our amazing team and for the many members who provide much needed pastoral care.
Yet I’m also reminded of what Paul says to the church of Philippi in Philippians Chapter 4:6 –
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We all have worries whether it’s our families, homes, jobs or health. But Paul’s advice is to turn our worries into prayers. We are seeing more and more people turn to prayer and so I want to encourage us to continue to pray for and with one another. To seek God and ask ourselves these two questions: (1) What is God calling me to do? (2) What has God called the church to do?
Many of us may be asking ourselves how we are best placed to help. Can we be doing more, and doing it more directly? How should we be utilising the collective knowledge of our incredible network of members and friends? What difficult questions should we be asking, and attempting to answer?
Our vision is to live Faith, bring Hope and share the Love of Jesus. We need to ensure the learnings from this crisis help put us in a stronger position to do that.
There is a lot going on behind the scenes and we will update you as we go. For now, may I thank you again for all you are doing, keep praying, stay safe and be encouraged.
Grace and Peace
|David Skeet is our church team leader.
Taken from the latest edition of our bi-monthly church newsletter.