As we gather back together in September as TVC Church and look at the question of how we are moving forward and what is God saying to us – I’d like to start by simply celebrating the faithfulness of God to us over the last 18 months. 18 months within which the church has faced unprecedented challenges as we’ve all found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic.
We are deeply grateful to God that his faithfulness has ensured that all of our church members were kept safe throughout. That God helped us to adapt to ever changing circumstances and levels of restrictions. That he enabled us to discover new ways of reaching people with the gospel and new ways of being and doing church. That against all the odds our work through Three13 has gone from strength to strength. That in partnership with the Message we’ve established a Community grocers in Ragworth and are about to launch an Eden team in Shaftesbury street. We are also grateful that through God’s incredible financial provision we’ve been able to refurbish and relaunch our new coffee shop. And most importantly of all TVC Church has continued to grow, throughout the pandemic, through new salvation and through other Christians finding a sense of home and family with us.
We are also deeply grateful to God for his provision of a vaccine which appears to have significantly weakened the link between the disease and serious illness. The autumn and winter months may well continue to be somewhat ‘bumpy’ and there will likely be need for some ongoing care and caution within our corporate gatherings. However I remain convinced that the worst is behind us and that over the coming months we can gradually take steps that will ultimately restore us to a sense of ‘normality’.
With the daily infection rate continuing to be high throughout August and indoor venues (with crowds and singing) continuing to be somewhat more vulnerable we will continue to wear face masks and socially distance as we recommence our Sunday meetings on 5th September. This means you will need to continue to book online for our in person services on Sundays. However we are hopeful of being able to gradually ease these limitations over the weeks and months that follow.
As I have been praying and seeking God as to what he wants for TVC Church over the next 4 months I’ve sensed him saying this is “ A Season for Reconnecting”.
While we may not have personally disconnected from God there is a sense that our corporate relational connection with God and with one another has been impacted by the pandemic. I for one have missed the sense of community life together and our ability to corporately worship, pray and minister, as a whole church, to God and to one another. God designed us to relate as a church family and corporate community with him and its only as we do so that we fully experience the ‘life’ he has for us.
So as we come into September we will be encouraging people where possible to engage with “in person” gatherings We will continually look to ensure these gatherings (small and large) operate in such a way as to feel as safe as possible especially for those who continue to feel somewhat vulnerable at this time.
We also have a great opportunity to connect at our TVC Church Summer festival on Saturday 4th September. Make sure you book in online so as not to miss what will be a great church family and fun afternoon.
Our Sunday gatherings over the months of September to December will be under the overarching theme of “A Season to Reconnect”
September and October will be focused on – “Reconnecting in His Presence”. These gatherings will give room for a more extended time in his presence. They will have an emphasis on worship and prayer. The preach will be a more devotionally focused and specifically aimed at facilitating our appreciation and worship of God. We look forward to what God might do and say and believe these times will bring a sense of refreshment and reconnecting corporately with God’s presence.
October the 3rd and 17th will not be under the above theme as we will give more time on the 3rd to our visiting speaker Ngwiza Mnkandla and the 17th is a Taking Ground Celebration with Ron and Mary Maclean.
November and December will be particularly focused on “Reconnecting as His Family”. The preaching theme over these two months will explore what it means to be the family of God. Not the virtual family of God!! The ‘in person’ family of God. What does it look like to connect with, engage with and participate in the most extraordinary expression of community that exists on the face of the earth. God’s church, the place where God resides and something of heaven touches earth!!
So we are excited and expectant as we anticipate coming back together in September. God is speaking to us and he is leading us. It’s a season to “reconnect”. To reconnect in his presence and to reconnect as his family. And there is nothing more rewarding in life than investing in our relational connection with God and with his family. It’s going to be a very enriching autumn!!
31 Aug 2021