Hello from the Elders
In the last few days, new and quite radical measures were announced by our governments to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and to help reduce a massive peak in demand for NHS resources. We have also received additional advice from the Baptist Union of Scotland in response to this. Before looking at what this now means for us as a fellowship of believers at TBC let us pause: remember that Jesus is still Lord; affirm our trust in Him and His Word; dwell in His presence and remember His promises –
‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’ (John 14.27).
As your Elders, we have continually been looking at how things are developing around us and have been praying for God’s guidance and wisdom in making good decisions. We met last night (Tues 17th) to discuss the recent announcements and to agree how TBC would respond. We were all keen to ensure we adopt best practice but also maintain that special community we have as a fellowship and the ability to continue to offer each other practical and spiritual support. The following is what we are proposing for our fellowship:
- The church premises will effectively close until further notice
- All Sunday services and other regular church meetings/activities in the premises are suspended
- Outside groups using the church/Annexe have either cancelled or postponed their meetings
- Church people should follow Government advice about social distancing wherever possible and self-isolation if required.
We are determined though to maintain our ability to have fellowship together in whatever way is both safe and practical. We are mindful of many in our congregation who need additional assistance and want ensure that we can provide that as best we can. However it takes all of us. We are therefore asking “everybody to do something for somebody” – whether that be using the flyer made available last Sunday offering to collect shopping/prescriptions etc., phoning someone in the congregation to check they are okay, visiting them for a coffee (if that is appropriate) or posting a card to them to brighten their day. There is still much we can do to show Christ’s love to each other despite the restrictions. We can witness to Jesus by being a generous, caring presence in our wider communities, giving particular attention to people who are struggling or at risk of being forgotten. Please get in touch with any of the Elders or the Pastoral Team if there is something specific which you think we can do for you or someone else in the congregation.
About communal time
we are currently looking at ways to either pre-record or live stream both worship and sermons via social media and our church website (https://www.tillicoultrybaptist.org/) to allow you to join together in worship and hearing God’s word. Guidance on how this will work and how you can access this will be sent out later this week. There are different proposals being discussed and we are working out how best this can be achieved. We do want to maintain our sense of community. If anyone has other ideas of creating community amongst ourselves to reduce the impact of not actually physically meeting together then please do let us know too!
We will also pull together a list of other resources (online sermons/other church streaming/playlist of worship songs) which you can utilise at a time convenient to yourself. Nurturing our personal relationship with God is always a good thing!
We recognise that for some of us the following weeks will be significantly challenging whether that is due to our work demands, home demands (the schools being closed), normal health challenges and difficulties with social distancing. However we are confident that the people of TBC will rise to this challenge and continue to look out for each other in a way that demonstrates Christ’s love for each of us.
The Elders plan to meet every 3 weeks. Please do pray for us as we continue to work our way through the next few weeks and seek God’s will for TBC in it all.