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Coronavirus update

By Gerry Straker, 18 Mar 2020

Coronavirus update
Message from the elders (Church leaders)

We have an all-powerful and all-loving God. We are 100% safe in His hands. We need not fear anything at all, and certainly not the coronavirus.

Romans 8:37-39
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.         
  
There is nothing more important in our week than meeting together on a Sunday. Everything else is to be shaped around our time together meeting God and His people:

Hebrews 10:25
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…

Meeting together face to face is commanded for the body of Christ, on the Lord’s Day. John the Apostle writing the very Word of God, still preferred face to face contact with his beloved Church (2 John 12) and his friend Gaius (3 John 13-14). Physical contact is so important for God’s people (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14). Our brothers and sisters in the persecuted Church meet when they risk death.

And yet, we love the vulnerable and the anxious, and we do need to listen to the advice of the medical experts advising the government (as good help from unbelievers is what theologians call 'common grace' - God's kindness to all people e.g. Matthew 5:45) and we need to submit to the authorities (Romans 13:1), when their commands don't contradict Scripture (Acts 5:29).
  
We have in recent weeks faced a barrage of information about the coronavirus that has seemed relentless. Advice from the government took a drastic shift on Monday evening. 
This advice had, in less than 24 hours, led to the Church of England to stop public church gatherings, the FIEC to advise all church gatherings cease and many like-minded churches to follow that advice. This is unprecedented.

It is with very heavy hearts therefore, that we have decided to not meet publicly on Sunday morning. This is not a measure that we have any pleasure in taking. Furthermore, to be consistent, we are also postponing tomorrow’s C3, C3 men, Pop up Café, Tuesday prayer meeting and Breakfast in Jerusalem.

We cannot replicate the joys and benefits of meeting together. However, take heart, because: we will be livestreaming a Church service for you all on Sunday morning. We will be in touch here on email, Facebook and this Blog about how to access this. We also plan to send a daily email at 5:30pm with a mixture of prayer points and encouragements. Most of this content will later be published here on this blog. 
The elders will meet - online again - tonight (Wednesday 18th March) to finalise other plans to look after our Church family together, and keep preaching the gospel, and to offer help to others.  

Love in Christ who loved us and made all who trust in Him, more than conquerors!

Gerry, Jon, John