As you will have probably expected, we have had to cancel all formal meetings of Gateway Church Northumberland from now on due to government advice about social distancing and so on. So we wont be meeting on Sundays or in discipleship groups or for Saturday morning get togethers until the guidance changes.
Obviously this is disappointing but I am convinced that our foundations are strong and that we will continue to BE church – even if we are not physically meeting together.
God has been building us together and a virus will not undo what God is doing! This situation is no surprise to Him and we know that He can use difficult circumstances in ways that will eventually surprise and encourage us – even though there may well be heartache and stress in the meantime.
So here are some principles – remember we are church and family – physical separation does not change that:
Let’s pray for each other, read the bible and listen to God
Let’s support each other in any way we can.
Lets support and serve those around us in our communities however we can.
So specifically here are some practical suggestions – most of which I have no doubt people are doing already:
Join the WhatsApp group for Gateway if you can – you need a smart phone and then download the app and let me know and I will add you.
Follow Gateway on Facebook.
Phone each other – especially those in our groups but also those who haven’t been able to make it to them in the past.
Keep in touch via social media
If someone pops into your head – pray for them and consider contacting them – the Holy Spirit may be prompting you to do this.
Do ask for help if you need any – either by phoning, emailing or the WhatsApp group – please do not hold back – we are here for each other!
Look out for neighbours and friends who aren’t in the church and help where you can.
Several towns have COVID 19 support groups – you may want to join them and offer help/support if you can.
We are going to explore having a Shilbottle support group with St James’s church.
I just want to emphasise that we should not be hesitant in asking for help if we need it – we all want to help where we can so please do not hold back. And of course it is a great opportunity to show God’s love for people who don’t know him yet.
Keep in touch – keep encouraging – keep loving God, loving each other and serving the community – lets be the people who are reliant on God and at peace – because we know that our future is in His hands and whatever happens we have eternity in heaven to look forward to with Him – and lets be ready to be witnesses to people and comfort those who have no such hope and desperately need it.
Remember Hebrews 10:23:
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds
And Hebrews 6:19:
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
And of course Romans 15:13:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Joss and the Gateway leadership team.