In our announcement last month, we committed to keeping you informed regarding the reopening of physical gatherings. Just to remind you, our rationale in making any decision is the following:
Bias toward the vulnerable
Subject to governing authorities
Not driven by self-interest
Gathering physically matters
Every church member matters
Risk is valuable, recklessness is wasteful
The terrain has changed but the goal posts haven’t.
ARE WE MEETING PHYSICALLY IN AUGUST?
No, we won’t be meeting physically in August. As an eldership we are not yet satisfied that reopening physical gatherings now will allow us to meet all the above criteria. As such, we will continue to meet through Zoom for the month of August. As it currently stands, we are looking to reintroduce some physical gatherings in September, primarily prayer gatherings and bible studies. Please take note that this is not set in stone, a lot can happen in a month nowadays! More information will follow on this.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN AUGUST?
By mid August we will have finished our month of prayer. A month where we have spent time drawing nearer to God, praying with one another and sharing communion together with prayer partners where we can. We are committed to continuing to create meaningful ways to build one another up during this season. We would encourage those who are wiling and able to visit one another, while adhering to government guidance – let’s support and encourage each other at this time. If you wish to have a visit from the church leadership please do get in touch.
As usual August will have a reduced programme:
5th August – Prayer Gathering Via Zoom – 7-7.45pm
9th August – Sunday Gathering – Guest Speaker | Geoff Richardson – former Dean of Students at Regents Theological College
12th August – Prayer Gathering via Zoom – 7-7.45pm
16th August – Sunday Gathering – Speaker | Rob Shimwell
23rd August – Video stream via Youtube – Elim Summetime Programme (more info to come)
30th August – Sunday Gathering via Zoom – Speaker TBC
I thank God that since lockdown we have not been closed, shut down or prevented from gathering. We have met online every Sunday, sharing communion together, praying for one another, meditating on and preaching from scripture and singing songs of worship. Our sermons have been uploaded online without issue. We have been able to care for the vulnerable and needy among us with pastoral care and the financial relief fund. We have been able to play “Amazing Grace” and say the Lord’s prayer among the streets of Glossop countless times without restraint. We have met midweek for encouragement and equipping. We are in the middle of a month of prayer where we are praying together and drawing nearer to God.
None of these activities have been forbidden, personal prayer and scripture meditation is not forbidden, encouraging one another is not forbidden, witnessing is not forbidden, acts of generosity and service are not forbidden, loving your neighbour is not forbidden. There is so much we can do to honour Jesus and build ourselves up in this season! Let’s take advantage of the tools we do have at our disposal so that we might build one another up in the faith.
My prayer is that as we draw nearer to Jesus in this moment, we will find our soul’s revived and renewed in Him. Let’s remember, this won’t be forever, don’t lose heart; let’s keep ourselves focussed on what is most important and persevere!
In the spirit of transparency and accountability, if you wish to ask any questions related to this issue please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God bless you and keep you,
Tim Cooling on behalf of the Elders of ECC Glossop