September 2021 letter
This month it’s time to get back to normal with our church services: the new normal. It’s time to get back to church.
- Sunday 10.30 Zoom will stop at the end of August and Sunday 10.30 Morning Service at church will start on 5th September.
- Genesis will continue its start time of 10 to 10, now back in the church hall (children, leaders and parents are welcome afterwards to the first part of the 10.30 service in church, including Show & Tell).
- Sunday 10.30 songs, hymns and prayers will be from the big screen, and we hope to use the good lessons we have learnt from 18 months on Zoom. It’s time to get back to church!
- Sunday 9am Holy Communion will continue in church, and now we are singing hymns (with masks on) from the hymnbooks. From 5th [probably now 12th] September we hope the new organ will accompany our singing, and we will be using prayerbooks again. Sorting out the administration of communion wine will take a bit longer, but we will gradually work towards the new normal in a way which minimises discomfort for those who have found lockdown difficult and who are treading warily.
- Wednesday 10.30 Midweek Communion will continue in church, with prayerbooks and a consistent order of service, building on that used through the months of lockdowns.
We hope that everyone will find a happy home in one of these three weekly congregations. It could be that a different service time or style will become your preference now. It might take us a while to get everything up and running. That’s why we’re calling it ‘Church Rehab’ for the whole of Autumn. Let’s be patient with one another. It will take a bit of time to get used to things again. Let’s be patient with ourselves. It might take a few weeks to work out which is the weekly service most helpful for you and your growth as a disciple of Jesus. It might take a while to get yourself back into the rhythm of church every Sunday. Maybe you’ve drifted into the habit of switching off when you feel like it, or only coming when you’re on a rota. Now is the time to re-establish the good habit of weekly church as your default setting.
We will continue to provide shorter services for the moment in order to help our ‘Church Rehab’. We will do our best to help one another conquer our fears, and progress with care. At the same time, we have reached the beginning of a new school year and now is the time to relaunch in church.
- Zoom – For those who have been so glad of Zoom because it has been their only way of joining with us, we shall still do Monday, Tues, Weds 9am Morning Prayer on Zoom every week (all are welcome). And some of our evening Growth Groups will also be on Zoom for some meetings. Zoom has been a timely gift to enable many of us to continue to meet and it will have some use going forward. But there is nothing like being together in church.
There is a common reference in the Bible to ‘the times’. In the famous poem of Ecclesiastes chapter 3, the word used for ‘time’ is not so much about chronological time, but rather the right time, or the appropriate timing. When Jesus started his public preaching ministry he said ‘the time has come’, i.e. now is the right time! And when Jesus remarked on the faithlessness of his generation, he said ‘you cannot see the signs of the times’.
We have reached the right time for St Luke’s to restart a full pattern of services. It’s ‘Back to Church September’. Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Yours in Christ,