It’s week 1 of lockdown. We trust that you’re settled in and ready! With at least four weeks ahead of us, we will be here communicating with you all the way through – via email, Facebook, our website, phone calls and whatever other various mediums are at our disposal!
Last week our House Church was really successful! 111 people connected in House Church Groups around the Bay and countless others joined in from the comfort of their homes. Thank you for helping build community.
But now we enter lockdown and so our time is up for House Church Groups. You might be wondering, “How are we going to do church?” How are we going to maintain church community during an unprecedented time of isolation?
Here are four ways we as The Orchard Church will continue to be the church:
1. We will continue to create and deliver virtual services throughout the lockdown
We will create content, content that is “us” – our teaching and our community through creative elements like testimonies, items, prayers and so on. We would love to hear from you so message us a testimony or story and we’ll be in contact! To maintain community, we will upload our virtual services at 10am to our Facebook page. Get the family together and let’s tune in together!
2. We will create new ways for us to maintain connection
We are looking at ways to use technology to help us to connect in groups to read Scripture together and pray for one another. Our group leaders are meeting online to discuss this soon. So even in isolation, it’s not too late to join a group! Just let us know and we’ll do our best to connect you to a virtual community!
But if that doesn’t work for you, be old fashioned and pick up the phone and call someone. Our pastoral staff and elders will be providing pastoral care, but don’t leave it to them – we all are the body of Christ!
We are also looking to create a space on our website to connect needs with help. There you will be able to offer help and request help. Perhaps you’re unwell and need some groceries delivered, or you may be able to deliver some groceries in your street. You may need prayer or you may want to pray for someone. In all of this we will be sure to follow the rules and guidelines set out for us by the government.
3. We will continue to be evangelistic in our focus
Now is the time people need hope and want contact outside of their houses! Be creative and think of ways you can connect with your friends and neighbours while in lockdown. We can use this time to pick up a phone and call a neighbour. We can ask a non-Christian friend how they’re doing and if we can pray for them.
4. We will continue to keep the faith
After Easter we will be starting a series called Keep the Faith about persevering when things get tough! Life is different right now; life is tough for some. Looking after kids trapped inside is tough. Financial pressure is tough. Declining health or anxiety that you might become unwell is tough. But the light of the Gospel shines through in tough times.
1 Peter 1:3-4 says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade”.
There are also many positive opportunities. We will remember these times for the rest of our lives. We will remember the family games night. We will remember the online video call life group. We will remember the prayers over the phone.
So keep the faith, look upward and look out for each other.
Keep your eyes open for further updates and resources. We look forward to joining with you this Sunday online at 10am.
The Elders and Pastoral Staff