As you are in no doubt aware, the national response to the outbreak of Coronavirus, Covid 19 has and will change our daily lives considerably for the time being.
After much deliberation yesterday, and conversations with other church leaders and church networks, and finally, after hearing from the health secretary and then consequently from the Baptist Union on the best possible course action this morning, I am writing to tell you that as of today we are suspending all meetings at Sudbury Baptist Church. This means all mid-week groups, and sadly Sunday morning worship. We also need to ask that all house groups to be suspended at this time as well in line with the government advice.
This will most certainly be until Easter, but I am hoping that before then we will receive more guidance about any further restrictions and closure measures. I and the deacons will do our best to keep you updated.
Over the last few days myself and the deacons have been thinking how best we can encourage us all to stay unified and also make sure we are practically loving those amongst us who might need some extra help.
This is where pastoral lists and directories come in real handy! Thanks to many people who volunteered last Sunday, by filling in a response card, I believe we have enough people to make sure everyone is checked on, asked if they need anything, and encouraged by a phone call or even a visit if appropriate. I want to personally assure you that we’re doing our best to make sure no-one is forgotten.
A different way to be church for a season
I believe that this very challenging and unprecedented season offers us some unique opportunities and blessings. For one, as Christians this is where our discipleship is really proven. We continue to follow Jesus, trusting in Him, giving our days over to Him and living for His glory.
We may not be able to meet physically together, but we have a great chance to be much more intentional about keeping in touch. Calling, emailing, messaging and even writing a letter to each other brings great comfort and support.
For those of us who find that we have extra time on our hands, we can ‘redeem the time’ by praying. Use the directory or make a list of everyone you know at SBC and pray each day. Spend quality time with God offering each other up in prayer.
Furthermore, this might well be a time where God is calling each of us to slow down, become more centred in him and less busy. Many of us will find this hard, especially if we find a fast paced life comforting, but it may be something God wants to nurture within us.
Ways to stay in connected
Each Sunday morning I will be sharing God’s Word as usual, but for now this will be done online on a newly set-up Youtube channel. You can also find the Sudbury Baptist Church YouTube channel here.
http://bit.ly/sbc_stream please subscribe and click on the bell to receive notifications when more content is uploaded.
I will also be trying to put some mid-week content out as well, as a way of staying connected and in touch. And for those of us who don’t use computers I will endeavour to post a paper copy of my sermon through your door each week.
Also, if you haven’t done already, please sign up to SBC Community News. Please visit http://bit.ly/sbcsudbury to subscribe online.
Again, each time a Community News is issued I will endeavour to post a copy to those of us who don’t use a computer.
All that is left to say today is remember who is in charge! Cling to God, the only one in whom we can trust. In that sense nothing has changed. Instead of worrying, pray and be thankful, His peace will guard your hearts and minds.
Rev. Mark Ulanowski