Since the pandemic began we’ve made regular adjustments to how we run Sunday meetings, and this will continue in the months ahead. Remember, we only restarted 9am and 11am meetings with kids work eight weeks ago. As it stands we’re still on a journey towards a new normal, so this September we’ll be taking some more steps towards that with some small adjustments as follows:
From this Sunday (19th Sept) we’ll still meet at 9am and 11am, but we’ll now be aiming for meetings that are 1hr 15 mins in length (which is pretty much what they’ve actually been all along 😃)
We may begin to reduce the size of the socially distanced seating area since less people want to use it for this purpose. We will ensure there is enough space there for all those who feel the need for it
Children will continue to be in for the worship time and then go out to their groups, but their groups will now run until 10.30am for the first meeting and 12.30pm for the second meeting. This will give us 15 minutes that we can use for prayer ministry, for catching up with one another and for people to have tea/coffee together before collecting children
From Sunday 26th September we will reintroduce tea/coffee after each meeting
We will also reintroduce communion regularly on a Sunday, and begin to make space to pray for people in person too
Because we’re being warned that the pandemic is ‘far from over’ and that some restrictions might be reintroduced, we’ll continue to broadcast the 9am livestream for now (although we do encourage everyone who can attend in person to do so). We’ll also be ready to make further changes as needed, in line with official guidance for churches.
It goes without saying that we should all be careful and vigilant. If you have symptoms of Covid or have tested positive for Covid in the last ten days (with or without symptoms) you should not attend in person; this is not going to be a winter to ‘push through that cold and keep going’!
As we make changes let’s remember that we are a charismatic church; we should expect to encounter God’s presence and for people to use spiritual gifts; we want the genuine presence and power of God to be experienced by us all. With this in mind, although worship times are still a little shorter, let’s expect some God focused, encouraging contributions to help us in our worship. All we ask is that you come forward and use the microphone so everyone, including the livestream, can hear you.
I’m looking forward to an exciting autumn as we continue our new preaching series, I’m looking forward to meeting with my church family, I’m looking forward to encountering God’s presence and I’m even hopeful that we might get to celebrate Christmas together this year too.
What has God got in store for your future? Is there an area of work, leadership or ministry He’s calling you in to? Is there something He’s calling you to pioneer? Is there a nation or place He’s calling you to? We want to help you explore what the future could look like as you open up more fully to God and to His plans and purposes for your life.
One thing our new preaching series will highlight is the need we all have for discipleship and mentoring as we learn to follow Jesus. With this in mind we’re creating a great new opportunity for some of the younger people in our church this year.
Here’s how it will work: once a month over the next 12 months, on a Saturday morning, Jo and I, along with some other great leaders from our church, will be running a discipleship group aimed specifically at people from 18 years of age up to about 30.
It will run in person at our Welcome Church building. All the sessions will be free and we’ll even give you breakfast each time. We’ll start the sessions at about 8am with an aim to be done by about 10.30am so you can get on with your day.
As a group we’ll be addressing a whole range of issues along the way such as: finding God’s call on your life, developing a vision for the future, staying emotionally and mentally healthy, handling relationships/singleness well, dealing with social media, growing in your gifting and getting to know God better. Whatever your age, relationship or employment status we believe God has a plan for your life and an exciting part for you to play in His Kingdom. Come along and find out more.
If you’re part of Welcome Church and you fit the age profile and you want to come along for these sessions, please sign up by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re limiting this to about 20 places, so don’t hang aboutor you could miss out. And be warned: it could change your life for good.
It’s been great to see more people starting to attend in person at church each week now that September is here. If you’ve started coming again recently, welcome back!
This Sunday we started our new preaching series for the autumn called I LOVE MY CHURCH, and we’ve given our series artwork a Welcome Church twist
I preached the first message in the series this week and, because all the rest of the series builds on this first message, I have a simple request for everyone …
… if you missed the talk, for whatever reason, please listen to it.
It’s a slightly longer message than normal because it’s laying the foundation for everything else to come, but don’t let that put you off. You can find it as a podcast from all the usual podcast sources, you can listen to it as an audio file by clicking here, or you can watch the video of the preach (the best option by far in my opinion) by clicking below. Why not make the time to do that before Sunday?
One more thing: Christopher Hawes has been working with an artist called Jack Seymour to create some beautiful illustrations to help bring the ideas in the series to life.This first one is below. Enjoy!