Here are the announcements from this week’s Sunday service.
Closure of Churches
Unfortunately we find ourselves in another lockdown. This is now the third time churches have been closed within the last twelve months. Sadly, it’s becoming a normal way of life for us. As I explained in the short video I put online on Thursday, PCI made this decision at a central level and the closure applies to all congregations within our denomination.
I know the decision to close wasn’t a surprise to many of you. In explaining the decision, the Moderator and Clerk of the Assembly said it was taken in light of the extremely high level of transmission of the Covid-19 virus, the numbers in hospital and intensive care, the number of deaths and the very clear warning from health officials that over the next few weeks this situation is going to worsen significantly.
The closure applies to all in person gathering within congregations. We have only meeting on Sundays for public worship and on Wednesdays for our prayer meeting since September. The closure began on Friday (8th January) and runs until Saturday 6th February. Depending on a review at the end of January, our first in person service following this lockdown will be on Sunday 7th February.
Let me stress again that that will be reviewed and there is a possibility that lockdown will be extended. Thankfully, as a church family we are well prepared for closure. Our ability to livestream is proving to be extremely helpful and I trust that over the next few weeks you’ll be encouraged by our online services.
One slight change to these online services is that some members of the Praise Group are able to join me in the meetinghouse. Under the regulations for live-streaming services, we are allowed to have up to eight people in the building. That allows us to have a smaller Praise Group of just four or five musicians and singers. Each week a smaller Praise Group will be joining me to lead us in worship and I hope that the live element to that part of the service is an encouragement to you.
Zoom Prayer Time
Instead of our in person prayer meeting we’re going to pray on Zoom each Wednesday evening. We’ll be meeting on Zoom at 8.30pm this Wednesday and I’ll post the details into the church family WhatsApp closer to the time.
Reading the Bible in 2021
The Reading the Bible in 2021 initiative is continuing. I hope that you have found the 5 Day Plan useful. The videos for this week will be available tomorrow on the church website. Again, I’ll post those in the WhatsApp group and on social media. If you didn’t start the Bible reading plan last week, don’t despair. You can start it this week instead. Videos for Week 1 are available here.
Church Family WhatsApp Group
If you are not in the WhatsApp group but would like to be added, please let me know. It has proved very useful over the past number of months. It helps me to keep you updated as to what’s happening within our church family. Please get in touch if you would like to be added to it or know of someone who would like to be added to it.