This morning we had our first Sunday service through video conferencing. We prayed, sang, watched a video and had a short sermon, with different people taking part. We even shared the Peace by waving! All in 40 minutes. It worked well: not as good as being physically together, but in the present circumstances a very good substitute. Most important, God was with each of us.
Here is a behind-the-scenes photo of Simon, who led, and Tim, who did the tech stuff. If you would like to join us next Sunday, just do the virtual equivalent of walking in the front door – send an email and we will send you the info you need to 'come to church'. Virtually that is. Find out more about this and other ways we are continuing to be church here.
From Sunday March 22 at 10:45am prompt we will be holding a 40 minute service that people can join and participate in from their homes via phone, tablet or computer. For more about this and other alternative ways in which we hope to continue to function in worship, prayer, fellowship, support and service (but without being in physical proximity), click here.
Last night the evening fellowship group and I shared in a 40 minute gathering… all through our phone, iPad and computer screens! After a few blips (and discovering that Tim who had set up the meeting, had the power to mute contributors whenever he fancied it!) the chat went well.
So, over the next few days, a number of different options to keep us connected with God and each other:
We are definitely in strange times currently, but we journey through them together,.
Dear Friends - a few updates in the midst of these challenging times.
Over my 30+ years in ministry I have sometimes had to be the bearer of bad news - never an easy task, but trust me nothing was harder than today when at lunchtime I had to let those who had gathered together for food know that this was the last time in the foreseeable future that the centre and Positive Steps activities would take place. The real sense of sadness, disappointment shared amongst some of the most vulnerable and isolated within our community was tangible. Please pray for all those who may be feeling alone and scared, that an awareness of God by their side may be a comfort.
For one remedy when feeling scared is to find comfort in one another, as evidenced by the actions of the first friends of Jesus who chose to be together in the upper room after Jesus left them. However, it would appear that this option is not available to us at present as a church fellowship, and we will not be meeting together at church on Sunday. Indeed the latest guidelines seem at odds with so much of what Brunswick fellowship is all about; gathering together in the presence of our Lord to worship and find encouragement, support and laughter. After extolling the virtues a couple of Sundays ago of the 3M’s (More people in the Mix, More of the time), it would appear that we are forced to have the exact opposite! Perhaps as we further reflect on our gospel reading last Sunday (amazingly taken from the C of E lectionary for a change - which was fortuitous as we had a surprise visit from Karen our Archdeacon!), and the Samaritan woman's encounter with Jesus at the neutral setting of the well, we may discover new safe ways whereby we encounter God and each other. Please pray and bear with us, as we seek to work out how we remain connected with each other and God, next Sunday, and the foreseeable Sundays to come. More updates as and when we know them.
PS. At times like this, I also take comfort from music. I just today took delivery of a compilation CD from the gospel group The Clark Sisters - if it’s your thing: enjoy!
The beginning of our bible study on a Thursday lunchtime starts with the following prayer;
Draw us into your love Christ Jesus
and deliver us from fear.
It’s a reminder based on the promises in scripture that “perfect love casts out fear”
We are living in fearful times at present, with public and sporting events being cancelled all around us. Your church however is continuing, and if you are feeling well and fine, is ready to welcome you this coming Sunday. When appropriate, we will follow the current guidelines given to us, so for example, the use of the the common cup (chalice) is suspended whenever communion is shared. It may also be the case that the current way we share food after ATS will have to be re-evaluated (more on this nearer the time).
In addition, we face a couple of more challenges this current Sunday.
Despite the above, I hope you feel it is still desirable to meet up in fellowship both with our God and our sisters and bothers in the faith. I look forward to seeing you (if not shaking hands!). But regardless, I pray that wherever we are, we may continue to feel surrounded and protected by our wonderful God, in whose love, fear is cast out.
At Christmas Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus and why he came into the world.
At Easter we remember his death and why he left the world, and then celebrate his return to life again, and what that means for each of us.
You are invited to come and join us at Brunswick Church this Easter as we remember and celebrate