March
18
Author
Howard Kellett
Godfirst Covid-19 response 18th March.

Hi Godfirst Family,

These are extraordinary days.

Events are fast moving and we are awash with information so aim to keep our communications short.

Christopher and I are here in the rather empty Godfirst office.

We are following Government guidelines and will be working mostly from home, keeping a safe distance from each other…Which is a good idea at any time!

This is a time not to put fear or anxiety first but to put GODFIRST.

As Paul writes in Romans 8

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? …  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? or Pandemic?

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither the present nor the future, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let’s keep our foundations deep in the love of Jesus.

FIRSTLY, In line with the government’s initiatives, there will be no official G1 gatherings of any size.

SUNDAYS:

We will not be meeting together this Sunday and for the foreseeable future. As we heard this Sunday, there is a time to gather and a time to be scattered. 

So, in this scattered time, we are making a plan for our Sundays, with thoughts about online interactions and platforms.

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, if you are able to be with your mum do be wise. 

I’ll be posting a short video on our Godfirst Cheltenham You Tube channel here please do subscribe and there will be a hidden surprise video as well.

GODFIRST COMMUNITIES:

There will be no Godfirst Communities meetings until further notice.

This is clearly a massive departure from our regular patterns, but this is also a huge opportunity to experience life as the church scattered in the community.

We’ll keep assessing things but we hope to be able to post or signpost helpful content to serve our Godfirst Communities.

Please do plan to make use of the array of online tools, WhatsApp Video, Facetime, Skype etc to keep connected.

Think about connecting as individuals, THREEs or as part or all of your Godfirst Communities, so let’s get creative.

If you’re not connected to a Godfirst Community, please email me and I’ll connect you in. This is key time for every Godfirster to enjoy the benefit of community (albeit online community) and where you can be a blessing to others.

PASTORAL CARE:

If you are self-isolating, as well as your G1C leaders, please let Howard or Christopher know, so that we can support you.

This is one of those times where more is more. It’s better that 3 people check in with someone than no one checking in, so let’s be proactive in checking in with single parents, those living alone and those in high-risk catergories.

INDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES:

Most of us will probably going to have a lot more free time. We might even remember what it’s like to be bored! Others might struggle to find free time amid the additional childcare pressures.

Try to make the most of this time to pull up the chair of spiritual practises and reach out for more of Jesus.  Jesus is always present; he doesn’t need to self-isolate or keep at a distance, he is always close.

Do keep digging into the YOU VERSION BIBLE SURVEY, and texting your thoughts to your THREEs etc. But you could decide to read through a gospel instead of watching another box set. Or try reading a good Christian book, or listen to a podcast – ideas to follow.

We will hopefully emerge from this season with deeper spiritual foundations.

MISSIONAL LIVING:

We’ve often spoken that when the world doesn’t feel broken people feel they don’t need a saviour. That will now change!

The church has always been fantastic in the face of national and global challenge…this is our time.

What an opportunity to bless the people around us and introduce them to God who is the source of our love and hope.

To help us, we’ve added a little card that you can print and pop through the letterboxes of your neighbours and offer love and support both emotional and practical. Please contact Howard if you can’t print them and you can pop round and grab a few from him.

FINALLY, Godfirst is a great church, with strong foundations of community, discipleship and mission rooted deep in the Gospel of Jesus. So although we will find this season a challenge, I am certain we will emerge from it stronger and deeper still.