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LEIGH BAPTIST CHURCH     “MESSENGER” AUGUST  2020     

VERNON ST / CHURCH ST . LEIGH. WN7 1BH                        

Website :  www.leighbaptistchurch.org.uk

Contact:  admin@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk

Pastoral Leader – Val Hulme ( Days Off Wed and Fridays)

email :   pastoral.leader@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk      TEL  07817142192

Check LBC website for updates and info also LBC FACEBOOK page

The Truth that makes us Free.

In recent weeks I have come across verses of scripture that always make me feel good. They lift me up when I feel down, or they inspire me to read more Bible passages.

One such verse is John 8:32, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Of course there is a condition, for that sentence begins in verse 31, which says, “If you obey my teaching you are really my disciples;”

Jesus was speaking to those who had been listening to his teaching about His Father and where he himself came from; also that He did whatever His Father, who was truthful, instructed Him to do. Verse 30 tells us that many who heard Him believed in Him. He told those people that if they were to be His disciples they needed to obey His teaching and then they would know the truth which would set them free; that is, free from sin.

The Pharisees He was speaking to didn’t understand who Jesus really was, and that He had come from His Father who was God whom they said they worshipped. Neither could they understand how He had existed before Abraham lived. They did not believe what Jesus was saying, but only listened to what they themselves thought they knew. Jesus went as far as to say that their father was the devil, who has no truth in him, but is the “father of all lies”. They could not understand the truth of Jesus teaching. Instead they said He had a demon. (v52).

It is so easy to hear what we want to hear. But is it the truth? Is it only from a human point of view, or is it from God, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit?

Romans 8:5&6 say “Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace.” In  Proverbs 23:7 (NKJ) we read, ”As he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

So, whose voice are we each listening to? We hear so many different messages and have so many different ideas as to what is the best way forward for our country in this time of transition as we come out of lockdown. I am sure that most of us would not like to be in the position of making those decisions. But we do have to be responsible at a local level as we make decisions that are right for us as individuals and for the ways in which we can do things together. Each church is in a different situation. It is no good copying what others are doing. The only way forward is to obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit, so that whatever we do is in the will of God. It is only God who builds up the Church, but we have to let Him guide us. So, whose voice are we listening to, that of human nature, or that of God?

Jesus told the Pharisees, ”I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.” John 8:12

So let us keep on praying for ourselves and for those making decisions on behalf of our Church:

1)            for the light of Jesus to lead us all,  

2)            for His truth to be in our hearts,

3)            for us always to listen to Him and to obey His voice.

In that way we can have confidence that all decisions that are being made are for the good of all.

Let us also pray for all church leaders, especially for those in our Baptist denomination, and for our Government and all those making decisions on our behalf, that they, too, may be guided by the Holy Spirit.

“If you obey my teaching you are really my disciples; you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32 (GNB)

May the blessing of God be with you all.      KATHIE WILLIAMS

 

Returning to Church Services

 

As a leadership team, we are currently working through the guidelines distributed by the Baptist Union of Great Britain and UK government to enable us to worship in church. As yet, we have no set date for when this will happen. We will be in touch when a decision has been made. However, when we do re-open there will be restrictions as to what we can and cannot do.  For example: 
 

  • All ‘vulnerable’ people including anyone over 70 are recommended not to attend 
  • Children need to stay with their parents throughout the worship time and no Sunday School facilities can be  available
  • Worship will be a short reflective service with no singing
  • No one is allowed to gather before or after the service for conversation or drinks
  • It is recommended that, where possible, you do not use the toilets
  • Doors will be open shortly before the service starts
  • A register will have to be taken as people enter to enable track and trace if anyone attending develops symptoms
  • On entry, hands must be sanitised
  • There will be markings on the floor to indicate 2 metre distancing
  • Chairs will be clearly marked to show which can be used to allow 2 metre distancing to be in place
  • Once seated attendees need to remain seated to the end
  • Attendees are unable to offer lifts to church in their car

 

We have calculated that we can seat 15 people at the current recommended distance, 12 in the main body of the church, plus the leader, organist and a deacon seated by the communion table. However, should we have people from the same household, we could accommodate up to 3/4 more people as they would be able to sit together at the far ends of the rows in use.   We are looking into cleaning procedures, the purchasing of any extra cleaning equipment necessary, protective gear, face masks and appropriate signage.  We already have a perspex screen in place on the lectern. 

 

Whilst we all want to return to worship in the building, our priority is to follow the current regulations and ensure the maximum level of health and safety for our congregation. 
 

In the meantime, we will continue to provide links to the NWBA online services via email and our Facebook page, provide bi - monthly short services led by our pastoral leader on Leigh Baptist Church You Tube channel and  Facebook page, a monthly Zoom Coffee Morning on the 2nd Saturday of the month and a monthly Zoom Communion Service on the 4th Sunday of the month.  We will continue to post twice weekly Scattered Church Musings on our Facebook page, by email to those who have requested this and by hand delivery/post to those who do not have internet access.  These contain a Bible passage with a reflection, soul shaper and prayer sections offering ideas to help with/encourage our spiritual journeys and a self care section. We will also keep in touch by telephone and email/post. 

 

Our Pastoral Leader will be taking annual leave from Sunday 9th August to Saturday 15th August, inclusive.

 

Blessings,       Val​


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