An Update From Andy & Sue…
Please read this email carefully. It contains a lot of information!
Due to the recent government decision to bring in new social distancing measures, the Church leadership team made the decision to immediately close our Sunday Gatherings and all of our mid-week groups and activities except for SWEP provision in HLC, which will now function with new precautions. This is not an easy decision; however we are living in unprecedented times. This is also in line with the advice we have received from the Baptist Union of Great Britain and is the same advice that the Church of England and the Methodist Church is implementing nationally.
Our gatherings are closed until further notice; however, CHURCH is not something that can ever be closed, shut down or stopped. Remember we don’t go to church – we are the church! We are disciples of Jesus called to a life of worshiping God, loving each other and serving Chester and beyond as we trust and follow Jesus. Nothing that is going on will stop us from doing these things. We just need to get creative and do things a little differently from how we are used to.
So read carefully. Here is our new Rhythm as a Church. We’ve had a gathered and scattered rhythm for a while. This is just a little more scattered but with some online gatherings.
SUNDAY MORNINGS – Online 10:30am
Each Sunday morning we will be Live Streaming to our Facebook page at 10.30am. Members of the leadership team plus guests, (though not too many so we don’t compromise social distancing) will be broadcasting for you live from the Hoole Lighthouse Centre. So get yourselves ready; get a Bible in front of you; gather the family and turn the speakers up loud. Just as ever, we will be praying together, worshiping together and studying the word of God together for around 30 mins.
If you are not on Facebook then this may be a good time to join. Sign up for an account at www.facebook.com then search for “HBC Chester” and “like” our page. You will be able to watch, comment, sing along and send in prayer requests.
If you are not on Facebook and really don’t want to join then you can still access our live feed without an account – you just need to go to http://www.facebook.com/HooleBaptistChurch
Here you can still see all our updates and live videos.
You can also view all the live streams via our website too
RHYTHM OF DAILY PRAYER 9am 12noon 7pm
We really want to stay connected during this time and we thought it would be brilliant to have these 3 connection moments each day just for 10 mins where we can pray together. We shall use the framework from the Lectio 360 app. – P.R.A.Y.
Each time we Pause to be still. Rejoice with a Psalm and reflect on Scripture. Ask for God’s help and Yield to His will in our life. So if you are free at any or all of these 3 times then please join us live for 10 mins. If you are not free, then later in the day head over to our Facebook page and you will still be able to watch the video of us reflecting together, whenever you like.
HBC YOUTH AND KIDS
We shall be producing some discipleship materials specifically for our youth and children that will help and support parents and families during these challenging times. Ed, together with Lynz, Rachel and Andy A will be pulling this together and will be in touch with you if you are in one of the HBC Youth or Kids groups.
LOVING EACH OTHER
We don’t yet know how long all of this will last and for those in our Church family that will have to self-isolate (many are already), it will become very easy to get disconnected from Church family life. This is the responsibility of all of us! Some of you have volunteered to help and support those in our Church that are most vulnerable to the virus and the response has been brilliant. A big thank you to you all. However we also need everyone to step up their awareness of each other. Could you make it part of your regular habit to make a phone call to someone in our Church family, drop a text message and offer support and help? Here is a time when we can really learn about loving each other. If you are self-isolating, then why not use this time to make sure others stay connected. Phone, text, video-calling are all amazing and means that we can still be a family that is sharing life together and praying for each other. Maybe think of someone right now who could do with a phone call. We shall also form a “Virtual Life Support Team” for the next few months that will help coordinate and facilitate all this.Your Missional Communities are also good places to keep connected and supported.
HOW ELSE CAN WE SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITY?
It is also still important to support the food bank where possible as people will be in need.
Sue and I wrote and printed a note to all our neighbours. You may want to do something similar. See below for what we wrote. We have had a great response from our neighbours.
Community Support/Being Good Neighbours
(insert address here) and Covid-19 (Corona Virus)
We are aware that we are in a very unsettling season as a country and some of us are having to self-isolate, fearful or some may feel they need to stay home more. As the UK faces the full impact of Corona virus what could our response be? Could we who live in on (insert address here) provide some support for each other?
So as residents of (insert address here) we suggest setting up a WhatsApp or text messaging group which could mean shopping, collecting medicine, keep an eye out for each other and providing a listening ear.
If you would like to be part of this group, then please contact (insert or name) on (insert your telephone number)
Evangelical Alliance National Day of Prayer
The Evangelical Alliance is calling us all to a National Day of Prayer this Sunday. Especially, they suggest we all light a candle in our front window at 7pm on Sunday as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ. “When so many people in our nations are living in fear of the pandemic we must come together as the people of faith across the UK and seek the help of God. That God may have mercy on us, grant us strength and wisdom, and help us to be a people of hope,” says Fred Drummond, director of prayer. Read the full article via this link
If you would like some help getting set up with Facebook, Whats App Messages, Lectio 365 and learn about what a Zoom Call is, then please contact Andy, Ed or Hazel. We are happy to figure out a safe way that we can get you connected online. We are going to have to use technology to its full advantage over the coming months, so even if you’ve been put off using certain things in the past. I encourage you that now is a good time to start learning, it will make a HUGE difference.
That is enough info for now but there will be lots more contact over email, website and social media so please stay connected as we move online.
Many blessings to you all and we will see you LIVE on Facebook this Sunday 10:30am.
See below for the latest pre-recorded update from Tuesday: