Pastor’s Update - Issue 1
It was Just over a year ago that I was privileged to officially become your Pastor here at Trinity Church – and what a year it’s been!
I’ve been looking back over the last 12 months trying to recall some of the things which have stood out. In many ways, with much of the year spent in lockdown, it would seem that finding any sort of stand-out moments would be difficult! Nevertheless, it’s good to look back and be thankful as we are reminded of God’s provision and grace towards us and “Count our blessings” – so here goes...
After returning from a preaching trip to Jersey in January last year, I called Eric who told me that you as members had unanimously agreed that the Church should extend a call to me to take up the Pastorate at Trinity. D’reen and I had been praying for a definite leading from God regarding the call – and this seemed to answer our prayers emphatically. Only a few short weeks later we saw a house for sale in Second Avenue – and despite the COVID restrictions – we were able to complete the purchase by June! This was another great confirmation from God that we were in the right place!
I remember the Pre-Covid Saturday evening meeting sharing with you all and answering questions. We really did sense that God was with us all in this. The next thing I remember was a week or so later hastily arranging a meeting with the Deacons as it looked like we were going to have to cancel all of our public meetings and activities with the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic. We met on 23rd March last year and later that evening our Prime minister made his now infamous announcement that we were all to “stay at home.” I remember calling Eric to ask him to hastily arrange a further meeting for later that week at which time I would come up with a plan – and so Trinity Church became Trinity Online!
Remember those early days? Facebook live services from my study in Aintree and “Thought for the day” began each morning. We opened our Facebook group Page and Church WhatsApp group to help us keep in touch. Eventually we even opened our own Trinity Church YouTube channel which over the last year has had over 15,500 views of our almost 350 videos! We also have 102 subscribers to our Facebook page and 66 to our YouTube Channel! Who’d have thought it! I wonder if you can guess what our most viewed video was from the last year? And how many views it had?
Thankfully, we were able to start services again in September – stopped in November – started again in December and stopped in January! As you know we have recently started to meet in person again from the beginning of March – let’s pray that this will continue in the weeks and months ahead! We have all had to get used to social distancing, Lockdowns, face coverings, sanitiser, bumping elbows and most difficult of all, not singing! Again, let’s pray that these restrictions will soon be behind us and that we can truly meet as God’s family – without restrictions!
We do thank God that He has kept us throughout this year. We continue to pray for those still isolated from us through shielding… and those still recovering from the effects of COVID.
So, after such a strange and difficult year – what next? We give thanks to God that there are now Vaccines to help us and we should continue to pray for our government that they make good decisions as they roll out their Roadmap to freeing up the restrictions on our lives.
What about here at Trinity? Well, perhaps we should start by going “Back to the Future” and remind ourselves of a couple of the principles for Church Life we discussed at our Saturday Question time - way back last year before the Pandemic struck…
The Church – A Family
This is our IDENTITY. Two of the pictures of the Church in the Bible are the “Body” and the “household of faith.” These describe our relationship to each other.
God’s FAMILY is a great way to describe who we are and why we do the things we do!
We invite people to meet Jesus by joining us. They see how we love Jesus & each other and we hope that they are drawn in to fellowship to meet Him for themselves.
Here’s a Thought… someone once said about Church activities…
“if you would do this as a family, then you can do it as a church…”
or the other way round…
“If you wouldn’t do this as a family then you shouldn’t do it as a church…”
What do you think?
“Being Disciples… Making Disciples”
This is our PURPOSE – or “mission statement”
We are all on a discipleship journey – hopefully becoming more mature in our understanding and relationship to Jesus – “Being Disciples”
In order to “Be Disciples” we have a responsibility to grow – by putting ourselves in a place where God can speak to us… for example:
Coming to church prepared to listen and respond to God’s Word
Meeting with other Christians during the week to be encouraged and learn from others.
Regular personal devotions
We also have been charged with “Making Disciples” – this is a call for us all to be responsible to help others on their discipleship journey – both Christians and non-Christians
We do this by attending Church and Midweek groups to get alongside other Christians – as well as taking any opportunities to meet “One-to One.”
We attempt to engage in our local community and take any opportunities which may arise to “be” good news and share the good news.
As we begin to “open up” again after Covid, we have an opportunity to have a good look at what we do and why we do it! We need to make sure that the Gospel is at the centre of our vision and that all of our church activities are helping us to fulfil our purpose of “Being Disciples and Making Disciples” in order to bring Glory to God.
A couple of weeks ago we met as leaders to begin this process and below is a summary of our thoughts concerning the way forward…
These will continue as now – at least until 21st June.
After 21st June we hope that the restrictions on singing and the wearing of face coverings
will be lifted. After this there will be some changes in the format of our services.
To allow more time for sung worship
To allow all ages to feel involved (Particularly on Sunday Mornings)
To allow more time for greater fellowship after the service
May begin again after June 21st – more likely to be September
We are discussing a new format – trying to avoid just having a repeat of Sunday mornings.
We want to use Sunday evenings as opportunities for outreach, prayer, missionary, Q & A etc
We discussed a change to our Wednesday meeting...
Moving to weekly Home “LIFE” Groups – Focus to be on application of the teaching from the previous Sunday.
On 5th Wednesdays (4 per year) meeting together at Church
Thought For The Day
These will continue from Monday to Friday – Possibly with notes provided for further study
We will arrange a meeting with all interested in Children’s ministry after May 17th – could you be involved?
The new Children’s ministry team will plan and work together – we’ll need to appoint an overall leader…
In the immediate future we hope to plan “one-off” events leading to re-launch hopefully in September
“KIT” Group (“Keeping In Touch”)
We will restart this group to help keep us going Pastorally with visits and updates for prayer etc.
Other midweek activities to be discussed…Toddlers, Table Talk, Men’s/Women’s groups etc
We are hoping to arrange meetings with all these leaders to discuss the way ahead after May 17th.
Anyone wishing to be involved in these and any possible new ministries should contact Will asap.
Safeguarding & Governance
Our Safeguarding policy needs updating and training is needed for all involved in ministry – More info after 21st June.
We are looking at the Church Constitution – it also needs updating to comply with latest regulations for churches.
We will arrange a Members meeting ASAP to talk through these things – unfortunately it will have to be after 21st June.
There is no date set for the Induction and Celebration service yet – We hope it will be ASAP after 21st June.
As you can see, there’s lots to do! But these are also exciting times! We have been really encouraged by the response to our recent Mother’s Day & Easter services – it was great to see so many people there.
So, are you ready? Will you pray and seek God for how you can get involved…? How can you contribute? – Has the Lord given you gifts that we can use at Trinity to reach the people of Rainhill? Please get in touch if you’d like to help with anything in particular or to discuss anything you’ve read in this update. There’s lots to take in! As ever, my door is always open – you can contact me by Phone, email, text, or via WhatsApp.
Let’s finish with some scripture: Romans 12: 4ff
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
May the Lord continue to “bless the work of our hands” as we serve him together here at Trinity.
Pastor Will Williams.