To the members of Ards Evangelical Church, attendees and wider friends of the fellowship:
It is with great sadness and a great sense of responsibility that the Elders have decided to cancel, with immediate effect, all activities within the church premises. This includes Sunday services.
This is to stay in line with the most current government guidelines relating to the COVID-19 pandemic which is to avoid social gatherings and minimise personal contact, with the objective of seeking to limit the rate of its spread.
As elders, we have to take seriously the command given to us in 1 Peter 5.2-3 to “…shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, … [and] being examples to the flock.”. We need to set the example, as difficult as it may be, for the sake of the physical well being of our entire community.
As Pastor, I still feel a weight of responsibility for the spiritual well being of the church family and will endeavour to produce material that can go online. We will seek to put content online 3-4 times a week to help you and your children.
To our members, can I offer some spiritual guidelines:
Lead: Men, you are the spiritual leader of your family. Therefore take responsibility and lead devotionals each morning with your family. Set an example, set a positive tone to let your family see Christlike faith in action.
Worship: learn to sing as a family or to at least listen to songs together. Take the time to rejoice in the goodness of God and the promises he has made. They have not failed yet.
Serve your neighbours, love them well. Be the Church even if you cannot attend a church building. There is an opportunity here to show Christ likeness and prove the message we claim to love.
Talk to each other, encourage one another. We have more opportunity to stay connected than any previous generation. Use your phone, use FaceTime, use texts….don’t let loneliness and depression steal what we are trying to preserve.
Pray for those on the front line, NHS staff in particular, at this time.
This is unlike any other situation I have experienced, yet God is unchanging. God is still in control and we rest in Him. Please do not hesitate to reach out to those in the church if you need anything. Please pray for God to redeem this crisis as He works through this for His glory and the greatest good, believing He will accomplish great demonstrations of His love and provisions for all.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while wedo not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
—2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Stay safe and see you soon