Monthly Archives: March 2020

This Sunday & more…

I hope you are all doing well in mind, heart and body. Underneath it all your spirit is doing well as it is born of God, let’s learn together to connect to it. I have a few things to update you on.

Firstly it is so important we keep connected during this time. We plan to meet on Sundays virtually and at the same time as usual. This will remain our central family connection point. For every bodies benefit it is important we keep in the habit of this.

For the moment the plan is to keep this in house using google hangouts (but we hope to move to live streaming the talk & using Zoom for interaction). You will be sent a link for this Sunday, please keep an eye out for it. As I understand it, if you use a laptop you do not need to specifically have ‘hangouts’ but if you are using a phone or tablet you will. However, if you have an android phone you may well have hangouts included anyway, or whatever device you have you can get the hangouts app for free from your app store.

We also intend to do Virtual Alpha, Virtual Coffee Morning and have several other idea (e.g. Virtual Fitness). Please also keep in contact with your Community Cluster, more info will be coming out on these and how they will work.

For the moment at least these emails will be the main & fullest source of information (please do read them, if you have not read the last one you can find it on the redeemer blog). Our Facebook page & WhatsApp group will also be used but for shorter info. If you are not connected to any of these please do so.

On Tuesday I was invited to a meeting chaired by the Northfield Community Partnership with local agencies etc. The Plan is to pool & coordinate local services and there will be one number to access this. As well as releasing this number online the plan was to flyer the area for those who may not be online. We (Red) were down to do this area but I was told this morning that flying is now banned. I will keep you updated of developments. Currently the local Food Banks are well stocked, but there may be a need for people who are happy to deliver food parcel & prescriptions.

How can I help:
-First & foremost please pray – for each other, your neighbours, your area, Birmingham, the nation and the world. This is so important and will also help you as well as those you pray for! One of the main ways we stop worrying about our own need is to pray for the need of others!
-Phone, the humble phone call is going to become more an more important, particularly for those who do not have the internet.
-Food Bank donations, even though they are currently well stocked we can help keep it this way by adding an item here & there as we go shopping, most if not all super markets have collection points.
-When you go shopping ask a neighbour or friend if they need anything you can leave it outside for them.
-Connect in to what is going on Virtually in the church to help make it all work and bring the love & joy.

We are facing many challenges but there are many opportunities to develop and grow and love! Let’s take hold of them with both (washed) hands! You grand kids may well ask you ‘did you live through the coronavirus crisis, what was it like?’ Let’s be able to answer them, ‘despite the difficulties we trusted in God together, we saw community built, the kingdom advance the, the lost loved and Christ Jesus our Lord glorified!’ - Boom!   

Our key verse during this time of coronavirus outbreak is:

“fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 
(Isaiah 41v10 esv)

God your Father says this to you, meditate on it and take it deep into your heart until it is not just a thought or idea but a feeling, a conviction!

Much love to you all, God bless :-)

Update

What a strange & potentially unnerving time we find ourselves in. However, God’s message to us is clear:

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
(Isaiah 41v10 esv)

What a relief to know we are no less in the hand of the Almighty than we ever were or will be. And more than this the Almighty is our Father who cares for us dearly with an infinite love! Jesus is alive, death is defeated, the victory is won!This situation will be affecting us all differently. For some of us our lives already look very different; working from home or self-isolating. For others not much has changed as work still requires you in and the kids are still going to school. Some will have jobs that will continue to pay, for others this is a very real concern. The economic announcement of the government yesterday is a real mercy but does not cover all issues (more is still said to be announced). Some will have more time on their hands others will have less. Some will not catch the virus at all and sadly others may loose loved ones.

Let’s trust in God and help each other trust in God! If you have more time on your hands use it wisely. Let’s get into the word of God & get into His presence. Be in contact with each other, I think the humble phone call will become increasingly important (why not drop someone a call/text just to ask how they are and how it is affecting them, this will be as good for you as it is for them). Exercise is important, even if this is just running on the spot & doing press-ups and sit-ups (I set you all the target of being able to do more press-ups after this time than you could before). My prayer is that we come out of this time spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and community wise more healthy than we came into it! This is very possible – let’s make the most of it!

We are looking into different platforms in order to see what we can do Sunday in way of a virtual church meeting. More info will follow on this. I have a message to share and it is super important we continue to connect both in smaller ways (e.g. Cluster connections) and also as a whole church family. Even I (after resisting for years) am now having to download whatsapp (although I can’t get it to work). I may even do a video update at some point (although I may not – lol).

Please being praying; for each other, your neighbours, the local area, Birmingham, the nation and the world – this is so important!

To finish a little joke (which I hope is not inappropriate): Why did the coronavirus cross the road? Because people didn’t self-isolate. Or maybe you have a better answer, if so let me know… and the best one will win a prize but you won’t be able to receive it until all this is over. :-)

Be wise, be kind, have joy in Jesus!

Much love, God bless you all :-)

Info

Following the current advice on the spread of the coronavirus we believe the wise & loving thing until further notice is to postpone all our normal meetings in order to help our nations effort to stem the spread of the virus. However, although physically distanced we do not need to be relationally distanced. We can still work together to increase connectivity & community. It is in-fact extra important at this time that we do so!
If during this time you become in any way in need please be in contact. As a church we will do what we can to best serve each other and the wider community.
Your Community Cluster leaders either have or will set up a whatsApp group (or the equivalent) so you can be in contact with and encourage each other during this time. If you are not part of a Cluster we encourage you to still connect with one of these groups. Feel free to contact a group directly if you know of one, or be in contact so we can direct you to a group.
More information on what we will be doing & encouraging as a church will follow.
At this time (as always) we need to focus our thoughts & feelings on Jesus!
“let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12v1-2 esv)
This is a time for Guts, Grit & Grace – remember that guts & grit are a grace! We cannot drum these up but they flow from enjoying the lavish grace of God on our lives!