Locked down on Palm Sunday? Sounds like a contradiction? This is the very Sunday we love to gather together to worship and make a lot of noise welcoming in the King of Kings - yet our building, like all other places of worship, is silent and shut for the time being. But we do have internet and What's App and other forms of social media to welcome the King of Kings online!
This Palm Sunday I want to share a few thoughts on the differences between the accounts of Matthew, Luke and John and encourage ourselves that God is at work in the Church in spite of lockdown. The early church often experienced lockdown for a different reason - persecution! Yet it still grew.
I also want us to pray for some of my connections overseas and bless them because they are finding lockdown even more difficult than we are.
Join us online!
Phil Gather, Connect & Serve
We are beginning to settle into new rhythms of life under the Coronavirus restrictions. People are working from home, staying in, and connecting online. Neighbours are being brought together in a new community spirit, with the corporate NHS clap, Neighbourhood Whats App groups and people helping one another. Streets are quiet as we return to what feels like a return to the slower pace of previous generations. What’s interesting from the church point of view is the different dynamics that are taking place. Online connection has become central to what we do. This produces challenges with learning new technologies, overcoming the fear of the unknown and learning to engage in different ways. Some people have risen to the challenge and others are yet to get there. Some people have been energised to seek God, and even to enact the practices of the early church by connecting with one another daily. Others have not.
I suppose this reflects two kind of people in the world; on the one hand, those who eat, drink and are merry, who marry and are given in marriage, and whose investment is in this world and not so much in the kingdom, and on the other those whose urgency is the kingdom of God, whose every day is a day for the Lord, and who are seeking first the kingdom and righteousness. The latter understand that the worship of God and the gathering of the saints is essential for the coming of the kingdom. Therefore I urge you to make the effort to engage technology and Gather on Sunday. I urge you to Connect with the body of Christ, not just looking out for yourself and your own, but thinking about others too. (Also check out Life Church’s Daily Devotion on Facebook and our website). And I urge you to think about how you might Serve your neighbours and your community as salt and light in this present crisis.
Please also pray especially for those among us who are on the frontline working in this crisis. (And anyone struggling to get Facebook, Youtube or Zoom to work, just ask.) Palm Sunday Schedule:
10am: Facebook Live Introduction
10.30am: Prayer on Zoom
11am Youtube Premiere:
11.30am Communion on Zoom [organise bread & juice for yourself]
5pm: E100 on Zoom
If you have missed previous Sunday messages, you will find them on our Youtube Channel: Life Church Paisley. Midweek Groups - Covid-19 Prayer
It has been encouraging to see the Covid-19 prayer time grow to about 15 people max each evening at 7pm. Invitations to join the Zoom prayer meeting for 19 minutes go out about 1855hours.
Wednesday Night Online
After Covid-19 prayer on Wednesday night, please have a look at this week’s video on Bible Project: How to Read the Bible
Both of these will be accessible by email invitation; if you have not received a Zoom invitation so far by email, contact Chris to get on to the specific Zoom database. Giving
Huge thanks to all who have made the transition to online giving. This is a great support and help to the church through this fallow season. Here’s the summary of how you can give:
1. Cheques can be made out to Life Church & sent or delivered to the church at 35 Moss St., Paisley, PA1 1DL. Please do not send cash through the post.
2. Electronic bank transfer or Standing order: please contact Peter, for our bank details.
3. Paypal: to give through Paypal, you will need to set up a Paypal account, then find the church by searching for ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.
4. If you are unable to do any of the above, please consider setting aside an amount each week or month as savings to offer later.
To make a Gift Aid declaration, please contact Peter or Chris for appropriate forms.
Please also pray for our application to the Business Interruption Scheme for grant funding to help us through the lockdown. Current Government Advice
Please note the current Coronavirus lockdown advice:
Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons:
• shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
• one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
• any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
• travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
Stay at home
• Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
• Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
• Wash your hands as soon as you get home
You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.