The way we do church is changing!

In line with advice from the government and also the Congregational Federation, all of our public gatherings are suspended until further notice, with immediate effect.  The Leadership Team have taken this step with a heavy heart but a strong commitment to doing what is right and wise in these unprecedented circumstances.  There will be no service here on Sunday, and no midweek groups (Share, Wednesday prayer group, Bible studies & Christianity Explored have all been suspended with immediate effect).
 

CHURCH IS NOT CLOSED

The way we do church at this time is changing.  This presents both enormous challenges but also enormous opportunities as we explore how to live and serve as a church community whilst not being able to gather together physically for our Sunday services.  But our church is not closed.  

The Greek word used in the New Testament - "Ekklesia" - simply means a gathering of believers.  We are the church, even whilst we are unable to meet as usual in our building on Sunday.  We are committed to the non-negotiable, core functions of the church:

  • Worship – Church @ Home is broadcast LIVE every Sunday @ 11am.  Join us on Facebook Live or here on our website.  Printed materials will be made available to those in our church family who are unable to access the internet.
  • Teaching God’s word – Through live-stream, video, and printed materials as above.
  • Prayer – Throughout this time we will post regular updates and suggestions for prayer on our social media channels.  As always, feel free to share prayer requests by phone, text, email or through our website and I or one of our other leader would be happy to pray with you and for you. Our weekly prayer meeting will continue online (2pm every Wednesday).  Please feel free to contact us for the details to access this on Zoom.
  • Mutual support & encouragement – We are making full use of our social media channels, video conferencing etc to meet together and encourage each other during this time.  In addition to our weekly small groups and prayer meeting, we spend time together on Zoom every Sunday @ 12pm after our service has ended.  We also have a weekly video call for our children & young people.  We are deeply committed to supporting those who are most vulnerable and isolated at this time, and where online communication and personal contact is not possible we will maintain regular communication by phone.  Our Leadership Team are sharing the ongoing pastoral care of all who are part of our fellowship.
  • Showing practical love and help in our community – There is a huge need in this area.  We are committed to continuing the running of the food bank and other practical ministries, and these have seen a huge increase in demand during this time.
  • Sharing the Good News of Jesus – The opportunities for gospel sharing during this time are enormous, and we are doing all we can in person and online to tell people about Jesus!


For this to be possible, we are asking all who are part of our church to respond in the following four ways:

 

CONNECT

Please stay connected with us so that we can communicate and remain in touch with you.  If you do not already do so, please connect with us on social media (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @ChingfordCong).  Also, please ensure that we have up to date contact details for you.
 

PRAY

Please pray with us for all who are affected by this virus - those who have caught it, those who need to avoid it, those working to understand it, health services etc.  Pray for school children, anxious parents, and those facing job losses or financial uncertainty.  And please pray for our church.  We are very conscious of the enormous challenges ahead of us.
 

GIVE

Our commitment to continue to function during these days depends entirely on your giving.  As a church we have always trusted God to meet our needs, and we continue to do so.  Our hall bookings, which we rely so heavily on, have all been cancelled. And we are dreading the financial implications of not being able to hold services at this time.  Giving is an act of worship, and a demonstration of our trust in God to meet our needs.  Please continue to give regularly and generously as you are able.

 

STEP UP

Please prayerfully consider how you can get involved in the life and ministry of the church at this time.  One of our major areas of focus is our food bank.  This is a vital lifeline to many in our community so we are determined to keep it going, but the majority of our existing volunteers will be required to self-isolate.  If you are in good health and not required to isolate, could you help us with this?  Alternatively, could you be in a position to offer practical help to others in our church family who may need assistance from time to time? 

I'll be available as always, please do get in touch at any time if I can be of support or assistance. 

May God bless you and protect you.  May you look to Him, trust Him and be faithful to Him in the days ahead. May these days of challenge also be days of opportunity and spiritual growth.