At this time we are regularly hearing encouraging stories of churches adapting existing projects or starting new initiatives to serve vulnerable people. King’s Church London – reacting quickly to the current COVID-19 crisis – has done both; adapting one longstanding project and starting a new work to serve those within and beyond their four local church communities.
I cannot be the only one whose Instagram feed over the past five weeks has been full of sourdough starters, shaved heads and relentless exercise challenges. While this probably reveals a lot about who I follow on social media as a millennial Londoner, it is great to see so many people responding positively during this challenging time. And given social media feeds are our only window into the world outside, it would be easy to believe that banana bread and leisurely daily walks are the majority experience.
Churches in the UK have been responding to the coronavirus outbreak both by sending, serving and supporting key workers and through organising programmes to serve most vulnerable in our communities. In this blog, Charlotte Ward from Kings Church Heathfield in East Sussex shares an initiative they’ve been running in partnership with other local churches to help those struggling at this time:
In recent weeks we have become increasingly familiar with the real impact of the Covid-19 crisis on private businesses, charities and on social enterprises. As workers are being be laid-off and finances threatened, no one can be certain how long this period will last and whether those businesses and charities will actually survive. What is clear is that even some essential services cannot be delivered – or at least not in the way they have been provided up to now.
Although we laugh – and perhaps sigh – at the thought of yet another Zoom call, we are finding our weekly Zoom meetings during this season have been a literal God-send. They have enabled us to connect with a range of people across the country, sharing our ideas and learning from theirs as we strive to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities.
So we have lined up some more for May and the beginning of June. We’d love to see you at one or more of them. They each last 45 minutes, and are limited to 20 participants so that everyone is able to participate. Make sure you book your place in advance so you don’t miss out.
The Potter’s House has not met together for worship in our building for four weeks. Like most churches in the USA, we have moved online to preach and meet in small groups. But another part of our mission cannot take place on Facebook or Zoom. A thumbs up or an emoji, no matter how heartfelt, cannot fill a stomach or put clothes on someone’s back.
Encouraging stories are coming through every day of how churches are loving and serving their communities during the ongoing crisis. In this blog, Andy Johnston from King’s Community Church shares how they are using what they have to make a difference:
Christian leaders all across the world are facing two unprecedented problems as I write this blog. But the great missionary James Fraser faced those exact two problems before us, and we can learn a lot from how he responded. Maybe we will even look back on these days and thank God for the Western Church’s great Corona Virus Experiment.
What are you supposed to do when you find yourself in a new city, in a new nation, planting a new church, and things don’t seem to be going to plan? In this blog article, Nathan Adams shares the story of his experience in Munich – how success looks different, how simplicity builds community, and how living for the Kingdom rather than the dream changes everything.