Coronavirus and Welcome Church: what happens next?

It’s been a momentous 48 hours!

On Sunday we were together for two encouraging morning meetings. Our Encounter meeting in the evening was superb too. I spoke during the morning about living with Contentment in this time of crisis.

For the first time we videoed the preach, so it’s available to watch. The podcast is also available as usual here, but for those looking for the full experience, here is Welcome Church online (be warned – subtitles are still being worked on and amended – there are some howlers in there right now!)

The situation has changed a lot since Sunday

I said in my preach that it could be the last time we were together for a while; sadly that turned out to be true. On Monday afternoon Boris Johnson briefed the nation on the latest measures the Government would like us to take to help manage the national Coronavirus situation.

Amongst other things it was said, “now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and non-essential travel” and that we should avoid “all social gatherings and social contact”. He has also asked people to work from home wherever possible.

In order to comply with this guidance, with immediate effect Welcome Church has postponed all meetings including Life Groups, Welcome Youth, Welcome Crew, Welcome Tots, Alpha, all courses and prayer meetings, and we’ve closed the office until further notice too.

This does not mean that church life has ceased!

Church is a family, not a meeting, a building or a ministry. Church is us; the people! We are the church!

Over the next couple of days we are looking at how things develop and what it will all mean for us as a church. We are also, right now, developing ways for us to function together as a church using online resources and strategies. I am so grateful to God for the existence of the technology that makes this possible.

Here is the first of our online video updates and encouragements. Please watch and enjoy. More will follow in due course.

This situation is not going away any time soon and it will get worse before it gets better. Let’s all get our hearts right and our expectations right. Let’s not give in to fear, but stand firm in faith.

We are here to be a blessing to our town in this challenging time, whatever may happen. God has a purpose for us in all of this.

And remember: God is never taken by surprise. Let’s not be fearful;  He has us safe in the palm of His hand. Even if we die, we live.

The church is made for a time like this!

 

4 thoughts on “Coronavirus and Welcome Church: what happens next?

  1. Hi Steve,
    I had a dream last night about our part we can play in reaching the lost during this time.
    We are called to be a light, not hidden under a bushal, but a beacon of hope in Christ Jesus.
    Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and worship your Father in heaven.
    What I was shown was for men and women of prayer and faith at Welcome Church standing with our brothers from other churches in Woking, at stations, at the open area of Woking shopping centres with a banner showing our church name and asking if we could pray for people.
    We had pamphlets to hand out with an email address where people could write to our church community asking for particular prayer.
    Administration could then co-ordinate a prayer schedule where members could volunteer to pray for people in need.
    The church could follow up on these people to see if there has been a breakthrough in their lives.
    When we gather together again we could invite these people into the family of Christ.
    I would love to be out in the field praying for the lost.
    Let me know either way if this could become a possibility.
    Regards Steven Page.

    • Hi Steven,
      I love your enthusiasm!

      In terms of the actual idea of being out on the streets, right now we’re following the government advice: “Everyone, including if you are not displaying symptoms yourself and live in a household where no one is displaying symptoms, should stop all unnecessary contact with others and all unnecessary travel”
      and “You should work from home where possible and avoid venues such as pubs, clubs, theatres and restaurants”

      With that in mind we won’t be in a position to be out on the streets as churches at the moment. We will keep all options under review though. Let’s be praying for a huge impact as the church helps people in this time of crisis.

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