Hello from the Leadership Team
In the last few days, new 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 Lerwick Baptist 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).
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 (Thursday 19th) to discuss the recent announcements and to agree how Lerwick Baptist 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 building 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 currently looking at ways to either pre-record or live stream talks via social media and our church website 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.
Our Children’s team are preparing material for you to do together at home as a family – Watch Facebook or your email for further details.
Home Group/Precept Leaders are looking at ways in which to stay connected to your groups and they will be in touch with you soon.
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 and isolation.
We are mindful of many in our congregation who need additional assistance and want to ensure that we can provide that as best we can. 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; by phoning someone in the congregation to check they are okay, or by posting a card to them to brighten their day.
Members of the Pastoral Team and Support Group are available to support as required, so please contact Pete, David, Moraig, any Deacon or the Pastoral Support Group if there is something specific which you think we can do for you or someone else in the congregation, or if we can offer someone to provide support and to pray for you.
Please continue to look out for each other in a way that demonstrates Christ’s love for each of us; and do pray as we continue to work our way through the next few weeks and seek God’s will in it all.
A national call to prayer in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic
This Mothering Sunday, 22 March, all churches in the UK and Ireland are called to a National Day of Prayer and Action. At such a time as this, when so many are fearful and there is great uncertainty, we are reminded of our dependence on our loving Heavenly Father and the future that he holds.
At 7 p.m. this Sunday, light a candle in the windows of your homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.
We have the great privilege and freedom to be able to call upon God, wherever we are, individually and corporately, for healing in our nation. We would pray for all in leadership at this time, making decisions about the containment of the Covid-19 virus, for those working in health and social care, and especially for the most vulnerable, whether elderly or those with underlying health conditions.
National Prayer Livestream for Baptist Churches across Scotland – Sundays 7.00pm
Over 700 people joined together for last Sunday’s Prayer Livestream, gathering from all corners of Scotland in the midst of the present crisis.
This gathering will now take place every Sunday at 7.00pm. To join in, follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/scottishbaptist/live/
This Sunday will include live contributions from the Isle of Tiree and the Borders and we will be joined by Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director for the Scottish Government and a member of Airdrie Baptist Church.
Do please join in and encourage others from your fellowship to take part. In these anxious days it is vital that we press into prayer in unity and faith.
General Director, Baptist Union of Scotland