Updated 18th March
In light of the recent advice, from both our Governments and the Baptist Union of Scotland, Adelaide Place will be adopting the following approach:
Sunday Gatherings (in person at Adelaide Place building) will be cancelled for the foreseeable future:
This is proving to be needed even on a practical level as volunteers for Sunday ministries has already been affected. Instead, we are working towards offering a Sunday service online, either streamed live or pre-recorded. More details of how to watch this will follow. We feel it is important to continue some expressions of worship. Our hope is that we stay connected through a local expression of following and worshipping Jesus that can keep the community of Adelaide Place together and continue our participation in the mission of God.
We will instead gather online at apbc.net/online
Missional Communities (MCs) are not encouraged to meet in their regular format:
To prevent house to house intimate transmission we are encouraging everyone to pick up the challenge of staying connected whilst avoiding unnecessary social gatherings. This offers the potential for connecting online and going on prayer walks in a safe way for those not self-isolating. David will be providing a more in-depth PDF to guide MCs on ways to connect, resources you might wish to use, as well as the appropriate do’s and don’ts.
Pastoral Support is being developed to cater for those who are not in MCs:
Sheila and I will be coordinating with the Pastoral Care team, Staff team and Core Leadership Team in order to monitor the situations as they emerge. We would encourage anyone self-isolating with or without symptoms to let their MC leader know or Sheila if you’re not in a Missional Community. AP Care can be accessed through our Website. Virtual prayer support and contact is our primary level of connection with more follow up being implemented on the basis of these initial contacts. Please direct any concerns towards , or phone me on 07947393894 for any urgent pastoral crisis of any kind. If you are a student, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. In addition, and are there to offer support and can liaise with the necessary people when needed.
Stories & Communication are going to be increased:
Stories are powerful, be it stories of struggle, healing, success or anxiety. I think one of the best ways we can support each other is by communicating often through all the means we have available. We are putting together a strategy for this that helps maintain and develop new relationships. Staff time has already naturally migrated towards this and will continue to be re-directed towards communications and connections as a priority. If you have any stories to share of God at work in your life or community that you think the wider church would benefit from then please get in touch with any of the staff team.
Prayer will be our source of strength:
I believe prayer is critical. As obvious as that sounds, I believe some of the greater works of Jesus, through us, will happen when we pray. When the person in your WhatsApp group asks for prayer and you actually pray-God listens and God is good. If, like me, you ever feel lost for words in knowing how to pray, try seeking God for a verse of Scripture to pray through for that person. Share the scripture with them and tell them you prayed it for them. A simple but perhaps powerful means of God’s grace.
This is a fast-changing situation and so we will endeavour to keep you informed of anything further.
14th March Update
Hey Adelaide Place,
I am sure many of you, if not all, have been watching how the COVID-19 virus has been impacting the UK and many countries across the world. The times are indeed unprecedented as we anticipate an even greater impact in the weeks and months ahead. I thought I would give you a brief update on how we are approaching this emerging reality both practically and spiritually. A further update will be given next week as we continue to heed advice from our governments as well as review what’s happening on the ground among our community.
In times likes these, I think our faith in Christ compels us to offer more than simply a one-dimensional response. The following is not an exhaustive list, however, I think what follows might help to remind or inform us as we begin to approach this together.
Love God with our whole heart, mind and strength: As this disruption makes its mark on our way of life we remind ourselves that God is the centre of our way of life. Devotion and discipleship continue to find fresh expressions in our lives.
Love our neighbour as ourself: There is a beautiful movement already happening of neighbourly love and care. We join in, add to, kick-start practical love and concern among our community and beyond.
Stand in solidarity with, and care for, the weak: We don’t trivialise fear and pain. Whilst fear does not have the final say, we lament the loss and pain already experienced around the world. We lament the loss in Italy, China and on our doorsteps. We care for those most vulnerable and in need. We walk courageously forward knowing difficult times are ahead.
Pray for and respect our leaders: I can’t imagine how hard it would be to lead a country. Leaders will get some things right and some things wrong. We don’t blindly obey but we are called to pray for and respect our leaders.
Display wisdom from above: We approach the real scenarios on the ground with wisdom, prudence, and with an alert mind that takes this threat very seriously. Wisdom that doesn’t spread panic and recognises the complexity of other ongoing major world issues such as climate change, war and suffering in forgotten parts.
Always be ready to give an account for the hope we have in the gospel: How do you frame the conversations you have with family, neighbours and colleagues? Are their hints of hope, public truth and the sense that the Gospel of Christ is about the renewal of all things?
Cast our cares upon our Father in Heaven: This is a big one! We have a Father in control. Whilst he allows many things to happen, ultimately, we can be sure that our lives are held. Your loved ones are held. The details of our lives and the massive landscape around the globe are held in the hands of the one who cares for us deeply.
Here are links to the latest advice from both governments:
Some initial practical responses in Adelaide Place:
- Our welcome team will refrain from shaking hands or making any physical contact.
- We will have no unwrapped snacks or food with our tea and coffee.
- Tea and coffee will be served from one central location for greater control.
- Please only use our single use cups until further notice.
- We will be serving communion less often and when we do the bread will be served as pre-cut bread.
- We encourage everyone to use the hand gel provided and to wash your hands regularly.
- We advise the elderly or anyone with an underlying health problem that could compromise their response to COVID-19 to stay at home and avoid public gatherings until further notice.
- If you have any symptoms of a persistent cough, or raised temperature please self-isolate for 7 days and DO NOT come to church gatherings or MC gatherings.
- If you have to self-isolate please would you let your MC leaders know.
- If you have to self-isolate or avoid public worship and are not in an MC, please let firstname.lastname@example.org know so that we can offer support, care and keep in touch.
- If you are anxious, want prayer or support on any issues relating to COVID-19 or other, please get in touch through Adelaide Place Care. Sheila Riach and I will coordinate responses to any needs as best we can.
It is now very likely that there are Sundays ahead when we will not be able to gather for worship. More will be said next week on how we approach this from the point of view of worship, MC life and pastoral care. Safe to say technology is on our side and we have a range of options for continuing our learning and worship. We will meet this Sunday in the morning and for the 6pm Renewal Gathering to appoint new Core Leaders. We will also be collecting on Sunday for the Light of Renewal ‘Buy a Chair’ day.Please do follow the evolving advice from both our governments and keep up to date.
Finally, words from our master…