Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Day One of Being Closed - Do Not Worry

Yesterday, in the afternoon, we got the news that all church services and gatherings had to be suspended. This was what we'd been expecting but it still took us most of today to get things sorted out. We wanted to be sure that we made good decisions that would bring glory to God and carefully work out what our underlying values should be in this difficult time.

It's important not to rush things even though you're under pressure. There's plenty of time to regret a wrong decision once it's made. We wanted all the leadership team to be included in decision making and to be able to move forward together.

There are big implications of this news for us practically. Our number one purpose is to worship God and now we are prevented from doing that together. But God is not restricted to church buildings and worship is something that we can all take part in wherever we are. Every crisis is a challenge but also an opportunity and now may be a time for us to expand our horizons and make changes that are long overdue in the way that we do church. We are being forced to rethink how we do communication and keep in touch. We need to step up our presence and passion to get things right across social media. God has given us this space to refine what we do and become more sure of who we are. So let's make the most of it.

Our mission and ministry will not be stopped by this directive. Now is the time to reach out with God's love as we seek to serve our community and care for those around us. We have spent a good part of today making sure that we will support those who are already part of our church community and then be ready to respond to those who may come afresh seeking consolation and compassion. The hardest part of the whole day was telling a 72 year old volunteer that they could no longer be part of our team greeting people at reception as we had a duty of care to take them out of the frontline.

The final task for this evening was preparing a collective worship session for school on the subject of Do not worry. Jesus words of the end of Matthew chapter 6 were the basis for this with a little bit of Proverbs 3 verse 5. We can trust God and bring our worries to Him in prayer. We may not know what tomorrow will bring but we can leave that in His capable hands. We can be people of prayer and find peace. This is who we choose to be.

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