17th March 2020, am
Dear Ascension family and friends
Big blessings to you all.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25
Now we have to get creative: what could ‘meeting together’ look like for now?
We are driven by the conviction that God loves every human being and together we want to share the love of God with Balham and beyond. Below are details of how this works for now, but first a video message of hope.
We’d like to update you on our response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) responding to evolving guidance from the Government, Public Health England and the national church. Some of this will continue to change, but for now:
Steps during the week:
- Be salt and light for our city, looking out for our neighbours, giving help and encouragement where we can, not being consumed by panic buying, and living today to the full.
- Pray with us for the parish and our community. To share prayers, requests for prayer, or answers to prayer click here.
- Connect Groups are now in the mode of meeting ‘virtually’ – this requires creativity, dreaming and enacting new ideas: be intentional in sticking together (even though it’s remotely) and in sharing focus on Jesus. Look out for one another in your groups, support, encourage, minister to one another, be church to one another.
- If you have to self-isolate and need help with supplies, or would appreciate a friendly phone call please ring (020 8675 8626) or email the church office, or your Connect Group.
- Parish Coffee is still open. In line with social distancing guidelines we’ve created even more space between tables. This temporary zone has seating 2 metres apart allowing you / your group to continue enjoying great coffee while maintaining community connection.
- We’re reaching out to neighbours in the parish, and we’ve opened a product ‘Drop-Off Point’ for donated products to help the vulnerable in our parish navigate the coming weeks. Please consider what household or appropriate food items you could donate to help someone who could be adversely affected by upcoming restrictions, and drop off at Ascension Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm.
Steps for Sundays:
This is where the fun starts! We will not be gathering on Sundays for now, but we are still church, and church involves being committed together in worship:
- Please stick to our weekly rhythm of Sunday mornings for worship. Now more than ever is the time to commit to prayer as God’s church!
- For now we will stream our service online – details to follow.
- Before 10.30am on Sunday how about you ring someone or message them so you’re aware of being in worship together.
- Join in the online streaming and enjoy worshiping God Most High in a new way.
- This Sunday our focus is being all ages ‘together,’ so if you’ve got kids get them involved in listening and singing and praying – model to them what worship looks like at home.
- After the service get in touch with others – ring someone and share something that struck you from the service, share how your week has been.
We will update social media and send out update emails – please read these as an essential way of keeping up-to-date. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact the church office.
We’re seeking to respond to careful measures from the Government, and we want to continue to live as salt and light for our community, being a non-anxious presence in our city. We know that God is very good and is not surprised by this virus. He continues to be Lord of this world.
Love and blessings