Those of you who are part of TVC Church will know that God has spoken to us about a season of reconnection – a time to reconnect corporately with him and a time to reconnect with one another.
Our Sunday services over the last few weeks have been amazing times of extended worship within which there have been a powerful sense of connecting in his presence. However, with the current safety restrictions we have kept in place as a church, spaces have been limited to 185 bookable seats. Over the coming weeks, in order to open up more opportunity for people to experience God’s presence corporately with us, we want to increase the seating capacity to around 350.
We appreciate that we continue to be in the midst of a Covid pandemic so we want to do that in a way that is responsible and considerate of those who are more vulnerable, or who feel more vulnerable.
So, over the coming weeks you will experience some gradual changes : We will start these changes on Sunday 19 September by making some physical adjustments to the set up in the auditorium which will automatically allow us to have more seats and therefore give us more bookable spaces.
On the 26 September we will decrease the social distancing from 4 chairs to two chairs – which will give us approximately 330 bookable seats.
We will continue to ask you to wear masks and to reserve you place online, via TVC Church website, for all the services.
On the 10th October, whilst everyone will be asked to wear masks as they come into and go out of the building, we will allow people, once in their seats, to remove their masks for the service and for worship. On that morning we will also be implementing a sectioning off of the auditorium into two distinct areas : a masked section and a non-masked section. When you book on line you will be able to select which section you wish to sit in.
We are confident that with the current ventilation system we have, which draws old air up and out and brings 100% fresh air into the auditorium, that those in the masked section will remain relatively safe, especially with us also continuing to maintain social distancing in our services.
Obviously the easing of restrictions will be dependent on the impact of Covid and other winter viruses over the coming months. If government advice changes or if hospitalisations start to increase significantly, or the NHS in our area starts to reach capacity, we will adapt our approach to Sunday services appropriately and if necessary reinstitute restrictions.
My reassurance to everyone is that we will continually make decisions, as we have sought to do all along, with a sense of responsibility and wisdom; with a sense of care and consideration for everyone’s needs (as far as that is possible), and with a sense of faith and prayerfulness!
It is becoming increasingly clear to me, with my medical hat on, that we are going to have to learn to live with this virus. I don’t say that with a sense of pessimism, I say it with a sense that God is on the throne, that he knows what he is doing and that he has a path of faith and hope for us to journey on together with him as a church.
This morning in my devotional time with God I was reading from 1 Samuel 7, where God in his faithfulness helps the Israelites overcome their enemy the Philistines. Samuel takes a large stone and places it between Mizpah and Shen, he calls it Ebenezer, which means ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’.
It was a reminder for the Israelites that God had been faithful to them in their journey so far, and it was a sign to them that as they continued to put their trust in him – they could rely on his faithfulness to help them in the future.
God has been incredibly faithful to us as a church over the last 18 months, in so many incredible and unexpected ways, far too many for me to even start listing. Most especially he has, according to his promise from Acts 27, kept safe ‘all who sail with us’ as part of the TVC Church family.
As I was praying this morning for us as a church, I found myself thanking God for the multitude of Ebenezers we all have in our lives, for the Ebenezers we have corporately as a church family, and for those points on our journey where time and time again we’ve had reason to stop and thank God for his faithfulness and help.
So, as we look to journey forward together as a church family over these coming months, let’s not do so with a sense of fear or anxiety, let’s do so with a sense of faith and trust in God. Let’s do so with a sense of confidence that the one who has been faithful to help us thus far, will continue to lead us forward. Giving us all the wisdom, grace and help we need for every step forward we take together.
Can I finish by reminding you what God has said to us about the coming weeks and months? It’s a season to reconnect! To reconnect with his presence and to reconnect with one another.
So, as we create room for more of you to book in for our Sunday services, can I encourage you to take the opportunity to reconnect, to re-engage ‘in person’ with the presence of the one who really does inhabit the praises of his people, as they gather corporately together in his presence.
16 Sep 2021