I’ve really noticed over the past few days how quiet things are. Usually in the manse we can hear the noise from the distant M56, the noises of people going about daily life, cars in the car park as people go in and out of church, St Mary’s church bells ringing and the rugby club playing (not suprinsingly!) rugby. Many of these noises are now still, others are muted.
In the quietness I was reminded of Elijah and his encounter with God in 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)
The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
The question God asked of Elijah ‘What are you doing here?’ could easily be asked of us. What are we doing at the moment? Are we using this time to live in fear?or are we using this time to seek after the Lord and encounter him in new ways? To get into his word and find the space and time to pray or are we glued to the news? God calls us in the quietness to renew our life in him. How we spend the coming weeks has the potential to be the space in which God transforms and changes us to be more like Jesus.
As we are now in a lockdown scenario, things will naturally be slower paced but we’ll still update each week with reminders and any new things that are happening.
- Pastoral team support: If you or anyone else you know about would value a phone call from the pastoral team please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Shopping support: If you are unable to get to the shops we are still able to help; please contact Mark if you need support: email@example.com
- Online services and resources: Our live streamed 10.30 Sunday services will continue as long as we are unable to meet in our building. On Wednesday evening we will also be streaming our Hebrews sermon series at 7pm with different ways of interacting with the message, this week there will be a chance for a chat discussion.
- Good Friday Communion: On Good Friday at 10am we’ll be streaming a short communion service (you’ll need to provide your own bread/wine). We’d love you to join us from your own homes it will be suitable for everyone (families and young people as well).
- Youth and Children: Please keep looking on our YouTube channel for new resources and our new youth and children’s streamed event. If you’d like more details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
- Friendly Chat: This is now up and running, do make use of it, it’s so important to keep in touch with each other.
- Prayer: We’re going to be launching a prayer and practical support email address which will be advertised outside our building on a banner and on social media. The address will be firstname.lastname@example.org please promote this as much as you can.
- Giving: For many of us giving into the weekly church offering is part of our regular worship to God and something we will want to continue. As we are currently unable to meet and unable to take an offering this way of giving is currently not available to us. If you’d like to get in touch with one of our finance team about other ways to give or would like information about setting up a standing order please contact Helen Hickin: email@example.com
How can you help?
As always, if you’d like to support us in prayer/shopping/phone calls please email the office: firstname.lastname@example.org