Weekly Update - 10th April

Dear Sisters and Brothers

Here’s my weekly email update to help keep everyone in touch, especially if you are rarely or never a user of Facebook or YouTube.  Having said that, a lot of this email is about things happening online.

Before I get on to those things, however, let me just give a brief rundown of church news.  The first thing to say is that it seems that most people in the church, if not all, are doing well.  Of course there are the usual ups and downs of life, and some are finding the isolation harder than others: but for the most part we are in good heart.  It has been heartening, as I’ve phoned around, to hear people telling of others in the church phoning them and keeping in touch.  We do want to make sure that no-one is forgotten, so if you have the chance, pick up the phone and encourage someone.

After I finish this update I’m going to do our first online Sams club meeting.  There are apparently 35 children signed up to join us in an interactive online gathering: and this is just a dry run to see how it goes.  Please pray that it goes well as we want to open it up to as many children as possible in the weeks to come.

I hope that you received a ‘pack’ from the church at the beginning of the week with a letter, card and the Holy Week booklet.  If you didn’t please let me know, as something has gone wrong somewhere.  I hope to send out something similar again in a couple of weeks time.  Angie is sending out a weekly Bible study to a number of people and if you would like to receive that, please contact me or her directly.

This week I was in touch with Alastair who heads up Sisterland, the charity working in Sierra Leone which we support as a church.  I’ve attached his update which makes for quite difficult reading.  We have decided to take up a collection for them this Sunday (which isn’t easy when we’re not physically together) and if you would like to contribute you can do so by going to their website:  www.sisterland.org, doing a bank transfer to the church marked for Sisterland  or contacting me for other options.

I’m writing this on Good Friday, not long after our short broadcast at 12 noon on You Tube.  The midday times of readings and prayers are proving popular and will continue next week and for the foreseeable future.  If you haven’t found them yet, go to YouTube and search for Stockethill Church or click here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnLlMY4dVY2oe2H4hN0pzwQ

That is also where you will find our Easter Sunday morning service at 11am.  The songs we will be using are attached to this email.  We will, of course, be having a celebration that morning and as part of that I’ve asked children young and old to draw Easter pictures, email them to me and I will print them out and use them to decorate our ‘set’.  Please do join in with this.

As well as YouTube we’re making good use of Facebook.  There is a public Facebook page for the church (https://www.facebook.com/stockethillchurch) as well as a private group for church members (to join that group please contact me).  On the Church page you’ll find a repeat of the daily prayers appearing at 5pm each day, as well as information about the church and any activities in it.

The other online tool that we are using a lot is Zoom.  Zoom is a video conferencing facility which allows people to meet “face to face” (although you can hide your face if you’d like to).  To use Zoom you need to download it onto your computer, tablet or phone, but it is easy to do by going to www.zoom.us where you can sign up for free.  There is a nightly church Zoom get together at 8pm just for chat and a catch up.  The code that you need to join that meeting change every evening and is published on the private church group on Facebook, but can also be emailed or texted out to anyone who wants it.  Just ask.

From this Monday we are starting a weekly prayer meeting on Zoom at 10am.  Prayer is probably the most important activity that we can be involved in at the moment both as a church and as individuals.  Again, if you would like to be part of that, either watch the facebook group or let me know.

I think that is everything for now.  Please do stay in touch and if I can be of any help at all, please let me know.

On this Good Friday may you know the grace to wait in the darkness for the coming light.

Bless you

Ian