I hope you’re having a refreshing summer, enjoying the warmer weather and the rather nice sunshine! It’s my prayer that wherever we are over the coming weeks whether we’re staying at home, or able to get away that the Lord refreshes and renews us ahead of the Autumn.
We met as a church leadership this last week to keep prayerfully reflecting and planning for the Autumn. Across LBC there are currently many different narratives in terms of how we are fairing during the current restrictions, there are no right or wrong ways to feel, no judgements we are called to make. We are simply called to follow Jesus, to love and serve him and one another, and to pray ‘Your Kingdom come’. So, whether the Autumn term will find us remaining at home, or whether we want to start joining in with more ‘live’ meetings, or perhaps you’re somewhere in between – this is all OK and we hope as a church family we can find ways to grow and journey together serving the Lord.
Church life is far from being back to ‘normal’ and the levels of restrictions placed upon us (very low cap on numbers, rooms with soft furnishings have to be left for 72 hours between uses, mandatory mask wearing, limits on singing and some musical instruments etc) have not really changed as we’d hoped over the summer, so we are planning for the Autumn based on the current landscape. As a leadership team, we really believe it is our responsibility and calling to lead for the whole church, as such the first part of the Autumn will see quite a bit of movement towards enabling ‘live’ gatherings, whilst at the same time maintaining our current level of online worship, here’s what we’re got planned so far:
- Sunday streaming: Our Sunday worship will remain online; however, we are going to be launching a new way of doing this from September 13th. This will be essentially a ‘live’ streamed service from the main church space; with live sung worship (observing all current guidance), message, prayers etc and we’ll also be able to invite a very small congregation along (we’ll invite different small groups + have several other spaces available).Prayer meetings: We will be hosting at least one live prayer meeting each week in the building, details to follow.
- Mid-week streaming: As we are quite time constricted on Sunday’s we’ll keep some more in-depth Bible teaching going throughout the week. We’ll get going with our live streamed Sunday morning first but once we’ve got the hang of that we’ll ensure this goes live as well later in the half term.
- Youth work: We are planning by early September to be able to have at least 1 weekly youth gathering in the church building, details to follow.
- Children’s work: We are waiting on further details about social distancing to be made available before refining a plan of how to make some face to face provision for children’s ministry available.
- Room bookings: We’re going to make both Ridgway rooms safely available for church groups who would like to meet, if you’re the leader of a group I’ll be writing separately to you to explain more about this.
- Prayer & Chat: From early October we’re planning a drop in for a few hours each week where Jonathan or Chris (and possibly other leaders) will be available in the church building for anyone who wants to drop in.
Over the remainder of the summer we will continue with our Tuesday evenings, please do join us for these and sign up early, and please don’t be over-polite in booking in, we’d love to be full each week. For the final 2 Sunday mornings of August (23rd & 30th) to give all our ministry staff and technical teams a bit of a break and a re-charge before the Autumn term we have made the decision to pre-record 2 services which we be premiered at the normal time of 10.30. We have a guest speaker in our regional minister Phil Jump.
Finally, see below for details on ministry staff holidays over the remainder of the summer
- Jonathan is away from 13th-31st August inclusive
- Sarah is off from the 10th-31st August inclusive
- Chris is on holiday from 26th August until 10th September
- From 26th to 31st August please contact the church office in case of an emergency