Who would have thought it? Gathering at 10.30am on a Sunday morning is a dangerous time of the week. We sing, we hug, we shout out agreement (well sometimes!), we talk face to face, we pray quietly for one another. We arrive at the same time (well mostly!) and sit close to one another (sometimes begrudgingly!).
All the things that make us prime sites for new viral outbreaks.
You might have already booked a table in a restaurant or decided to brave going to the pub to see how they manage everything. You might have an appointment for your haircut. You might have lined a week of meals (in ventilated, side by side, socially distanced ways) with friends in your home again.
But what about our dangerous places? You can read all about it here.
And see the suggestions: don’t sing, turn up at different times (they obviously never attended on a Sunday morning!), and if someone needs to lead worship, put them behind a plexi-glass screen.
So we will not be meeting for a while yet.
So how should we respond to the moment we are in? We can get frustrated, or be resigned, or grow apathetic towards one another. Or we can remind ourselves that sometimes the way God forms his people in is by putting them in situations that feel uncomfortable.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus promised his disciples that they would travel the world telling people about Jesus. In way it sounded as though the vision he was offering was ‘Preach the Gospel, See the World’. By Acts 8:1 we see how this would be made possible. The church in Jerusalem would see their leaders being killed, they would watch authorities trying to violently destroy the church. At which point it’s worth reminding yourself, they had no buildings, so destroying the church could only mean that people would be intimidated, broken and if necessary killed until they stopped saying they were Jesus-followers. Their enemies wanted to stamp Christianity out in a first century version of ‘whack-a-mole’.
Except they couldn’t. Because as people were pushed out of the city, ‘those who had been scattered preached the gospel wherever they went’. And the new wave of mission began. In places they could have not expected with experiences they were not prepared for. And it began because normal life was completely disrupted.
These questions might be the ones we need to ask:
- Who are the new people God is sending you to?
- What are the new situations you are in that you feel unprepared for?
- What is God asking you to do in these new situations?
These are the questions that we should be asking ourselves. There will be a day when it will not be dangerously risky to meet. Today is the day to take the risks that we face.
This week’s interview is with Fallon Kay. Fallon is a young woman determined to follow Jesus. Listen to her explain why she is known by two names, what life was like when she arrived in the UK from the Congo at the age of 7 and why she’s marched as part of the Black Lives Matter protests.
1. Our Gatherings
The link to this Sunday’s Gathering is here:
Meeting ID: 836 810 848
This week we have 3 prayer meetings during the week:
On Wednesday between 1-2pm we offer prayer ministry.
You may feel anxious and just need someone to pray for God’s peace over you. You may be ill or be concerned about someone who is sick; we can pray with you for God’s healing. You may feel low or confused; we can pray with you to know God’s joy and guidance in these strange days. Whatever your reason, we would love to pray with you and for you.
Thursday at 7.45-9.00
We had planned to pray for our persecuted Christian family across the world this Thursday night and found Open Doors had already arranged a prayer meeting on the same night so we thought we would join them!
It’s slightly later than our usual meeting (8.15pm) and you need to register (just click on the link below) to get the link via email.
Please do join us if you can and show solidarity with our brothers and sisters across the world at this particularly difficult time.
On Friday 10.30-12.00 there is a prayer meeting that doesn’t need Zoom! We use Whatsapp and it works great. If you want more information contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.
2. Stay Connected
‘Virtual Coffee Morning’ – Wednesday 10.30-11.30am
Since closing we’ve missed chatting to people and we know some of you have missed popping in for a brew and a catch up too. So, whilst it’s not as good as the real thing, we thought we would try meeting up online instead. So, grab yourself a brew and join us. There may even be games and live music!
If in doubt
All the links to the meetings are in ChurchSuite and on the ‘Calendar’ section of our church website: https://www.salfordelimchurch.org/events/
4. You’re not alone
If you need prayer, or need to talk, don’t hesitate to contact folks in your WhatsApp group, or Neil – his number is 07771 558058.
Links and Resources
1. Children’s Resources
Morag and Ian have put together a couple of films for children at different ages. Having said that, whatever your age you might want to take a look!
But if you have children that fall into these groups, I know that they will really value your feedback.
2. Any of you interested in any of these?
Pauline Pollitt, one of our older members of the church, has had to downsize from her flat to The Fountains Care Centre, Swinton. She had some books that she would like to pass on to anyone who would like them:
- Several books by Joyce Meyer; ‘The Father’s Blessing’ by John Arnott and ‘My Dear Child’ by Colin Urquhart.
- 7 Bibles in different translations: NIV, NLT, NKJV, The Message, CEV. Two of them are Daily Study Bibles for Women.
If you want any of these, contact Neil.