Responding to Coronavirus
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Bible is clear that we need encouragement.
The writer to the Hebrews stresses that we need especially:
- the encouragement of the scriptures – 3:7 6:18; 12:5.
- the encouragement of one another – 3:12-13; 10:24-25; 12:15-17
Famously we are told: “Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing., but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” 10:25
So, how do we do that now?
The government has been clear that their advice not to gather applies to church meetings and so from Sunday 22nd March there will be no public worship up and down the land. At CCM, we have always been clear that ‘church is not a building, it’s the people.’ We now need to live that out in very strange times.
The modern world with international travel mean that this wretched virus has travelled quickly across the globe. Yet the modern world also offers us technology to compensate in some way to the lack of meeting.
What we all still need is the encouragement of God’s Word and the encouragement of other believers. Please do keep pursuing these, even as we bring all our anxieties and frailties to God in prayer.
Let me outline some practical steps we are taking:
- There will be no Sunday services at CCM until further notice. Each Sunday we currently plan to live-stream a service from church at 10:15am and 6pm. It will be a slightly shorter service of songs, prayers and a sermon, led by a handful of people.
- The current expectation is that this will continue to be hosted on facebook live so that all who desire can interact with message and comments. It will also appear more publicly on our website. Some small groups are planning to arrange a group conversation over Zoom or similar afterwards to continue to encourage one another.
- The Sunday school team are planning to make available resources for parents to help speak to their children about what is happening, as well as more general teaching materials
- There will be no midweek groups meeting centrally. Everyone who is already in a Discipleship Group should have heard from their study group leader about how small groups will be functioning going forward
- If you’re not in a Discipleship Group and would now like to join one ‘virtually’ do email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Some of us will find we have more time on our hands now that there is no commute or social activity in the evenings. Scott Furey is going to begin posting Scott’s Daily Trio – three great articles to read and short videos to watch to encourage us Biblically and prevent all our time going into box sets.
- Some within the church family will very quickly start to feel isolated, especially if living alone and working from home. We want to do all we can to help. If you have to self isolate or more simply want to meet up with another couple of people living near you, make sure that your postcode and email are accurate in churchsuite.
- You may be aware of the impact of this pandemic on the income of some members of the church family, particularly those who are professional musicians, sound technicians etc whose gigs have been cancelled, those on zero hours contracts, those in the hospitality industry and others. We would love CCM to be like the early church where believers are sharing with one another so that ‘there was no needy person among them.’ Acts 4:34. One very practical way we can help one another is by making a one-off donation to the Deacons’ Fund which exists to support those in our church family who find themselves in need at any time. It is administered by very wise and loving members of the morning and evening services. More details in Timeout.
Life is going to look very different for some time. We will, more than ever, need the encouragement of God’s Word and one another.
“I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2