We had a very powerful picture on Sunday of how only weeds can grow when the ground is covered over by darkness. But that when the darkness is removed, and light can shine in, then real healthy growth can happen. Also, from Psalm 91 we were reminded of the blessing that comes from being under the loving protection of God.
In the midst of this situation, let us not be overwhelmed with the darkness and let the weeds of depression, hopelessness and fear grow but look to the gospel of God and allow the light of the world, Jesus, to fill us with faith through His word.
Let us continue to look for every opportunity to let this light we have shine in to the lives of our family, friends and neighbours.
As you will be aware the situation with the Coronavirus is developing on a daily basis. Following the latest advice given from the Government yesterday, that included the recommendation to stop non essential contact, we have made the following decisions -
We will not be meeting together on Sundays until further notice, this includes the evening prayer meeting. This will take effect immediately and therefore there will be no meeting this Sunday, 22nd March.
In order to facilitate hearing Gods word, our plan is to live stream a shorter, simplified worship service here, on our website, each Sunday at 10.30am.
We are wanting to continue to encourage people to contribute spiritual gifts to encourage the church. To facilitate this please send a video of your contribution, recorded (in landscape please) from your phone, to the office. We'll feature some of these during our Sunday live stream. Please keep these to 1 or 2 minutes only.
All Community Group meetings have been cancelled until further notice. We are looking at different ways we can facilitate Community Groups across the church and will send out further communication regarding this at a later date. Please continue to check in with one another, encourage and pray for one another and think about how you can help one another practically.
GIFT DAYS / GIVING
In light of the potential financial impact at this time, we have decided to delay our Gift Days due to take place in March. If you had already decided on what you might give, maybe put this aside so when we run our Gift Days again you are able to use this.
As we won't be meeting together on Sundays, we do not want people to miss out on the opportunity to worship God through financial giving. If you usually give into the offering on a Sunday morning, please consider other ways you may be able to give. You can give online, or if you haven't set up a regular standing order, you might prefer to do that now.
Our account details are -
Community Church Putney
Sort Code: 60-24-07
Account Number: 87141167
We also consider it wise to cancel our Church Weekend Away in May.
If you have already booked in and paid, then refunds were implemented this morning. We are not sure how long it will take for your money to be returned. If you haven't received you refund in the next 7-10 days, please email the church office.
OTHER CHURCH ACTIVITIES
As of today, all other church activities are cancelled until further notice. This includes,
Serendipity Cafe is also cancelled but we are exploring alternative ways we can distribute food to those who need it.
We continue to trust in Gods perfect will, let us continue to pray for our nation, the church and for Gods kingdom to come in the lives of many.
The Coronavirus And Us.
We are living through uncertain times. News and advice is changing at a rapid pace.
In situations like these, it reminds us of our fragility, our dependence on others - we are relational beings - and gives us a sense of loss of control. In all of this is the challenge of how we are to respond, personally and as a church.
As Christians we are called to respond in a different way to the world. We know that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, He is the resurrection and the life. He is in control and, surely, only Jesus can guide us through this. He calls us to trust and believe, to have faith and not fear.
One of the ways of expressing this trust and faith is to pray. Here are some practical ways to be praying at this time:
Pray for the authorities running our countries and cities - for wisdom and leadership in handling the responses to the virus and stability in the economy.
Pray for the medical teams and our NHS personnel who are helping and treating the sick.
Pray for those who have been infected - for quick recovery and protection for their families.
Pray protection over those who are at particular risk - those with other health conditions, the elderly, etc.
And let's be mindful of those who are vulnerable to the consequences of the infection in the church and in our neighbourhoods. Keep in regular touch with people in your community groups. Think about practical ways of helping those that may have to isolate themselves.
If You Have Symptoms
The current advice is that if you have any symptoms, the government are advising you to self-isolate for seven to fourteen days. It is important to let your Community Group Leaders know, so someone is aware of your situation.
If you have any concerns or worries, then please get in touch.
Love in Christ
From The Elders