AN UPDATE FROM GEORGE, Friday 31st July:
Dear Church Family,
I hope this letter finds you well – let me begin with a recap of last week’s announcements about services opening at church:
Opening for Church Services
Our plan is to be open for services in the church building from Wednesday 2nd September.
- Initially there will be services on Wednesday at 12.00pm and Sunday at 10.00am.
- We also plan to livestream the service from church to enable people to join at home.
- Numbers will be limited in line with government and church guidance, which may evolve in the coming weeks, but we expect this will mean signing up for services – details of this will follow at the end of August.
- Current guidance indicates we will not be singing, and we will need to leave the building promptly maintaining social distancing at the close of worship.
- We don’t expect to open the kitchen in September so there will be no coffee on Sunday and no lunch on Wednesday.
Despite the limitations we might expect to be in place, it is a genuinely joyful prospect to come together and share time as a whole family in the building and online as we broadcast from church! Over the coming weeks a team will be working out the technicalities of live streaming. Thank you again for your responses to the questionnaire, your honesty and patience.
Children, Families and Youth Work – now and September
Our midweek toddlers and Sunday children’s and youth groups pause for August. I want to express thanks to the teams for the enormous amount of work they have done through lockdown to bring encouragement and stay connected with our families and young people.
We are hosting a summer toddlers online story and song group on Facebook, on Fridays at 11.
In September all ages will be welcome in church, and you’ll need to keep children with you as there will be no children’s groups running in the initial stages of our return to the building. We will continue to work with families in creative and online ways! We look forward to being in touch…
What’s happening in August?
New Wine – Breaks Out! This weekend there is a feast of worship, teaching and input online for all ages – we are drawing our youth and children’s work to its end of term finale with the gatherings and resources available over the weekend, and I encourage you to look at the programme for yourself and see what appeals to you! In addition we are hosting an after-hours Zoom call Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9.15pm. The idea is that it’s a little bit like the campfire conversations that happen at the end of the day when we’re away camping together – but from the comfort of your own home!
Saying goodbye and thank you to Rob McLellan
On Sunday 30th August we are saying goodbye to Rob and Rachel McLellan as Rob leaves after 5 years on staff at St Thomas’s to begin his training for ordination. We will have a service with a special Zoom time after to share our thanks and love with them and pray for them as they go.
We would like to bless and thank Rob and family generously, if anyone would like to make a financial contribution to a leaving gift for them please send it to the office.
In August we will broadcast services at 10am on the church YouTube channel ONLY (for simplicity’s sake!) Come and join in the Zoom coffee time as well…
“Do it again Lord!”
In this week’s Sunday Service we begin our August series. Our Scriptures take us to familiar stories of Jesus coming to town – with dramatic results for people’s lives and circumstances. Our cry will be “Do it again Lord!” offering our lives with prayer and expectant faith for God to do it again – to see people find the freedom, hope and love that Jesus gives to us.
Our scripture this week is Luke 4.14-30, here are some questions to prompt our reflections….
1. As we read verses 18-19, Jesus quotes Isaiah 61 to explain his ministry. What h…opes do these promises (re)awaken in you? What difference do they make to the way you worship, pray and act? How do you imagine situations around us and in our lives might be transformed by Jesus?
2. When Jesus announces the fulfilment of these promises in Nazareth, they have been heard for centuries – how have your faith and hopes been affected by delay or disappointment? Will you allow Jesus to speak and minister to those experiences again this week?
3. In verses 22-30 we see the crowd eagerly welcome Jesus’ announcement, and then question his authority and recoil from his challenge to recognise what God is doing. Can you see what might oppose the ministry Jesus promises here – both among us and in our own thoughts and hearts? Are you willing to repent of those things?
4. What are you hungry to offer to the world around you? Spend some time waiting on the Holy Spirit and ask Jesus for fresh opportunity to share in the ministry he describes, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
5. Who in Kendal and in your life would you like to hear what Jesus is offering here – how can you help them to encounter him?
With love and every blessing,