Previous letters 25th June 2020
I hope you continue well. Thanks once again for your correspondence during the last week. It's really good to hear from you.
It's a great privilege to share in the YouTube services and I hope you enjoy them too. This Sunday we ran into a bit of difficulty and got cut off, but don't worry, I'm sure we will get it all sorted out and we'll be back up and running again by this coming Sunday.
One interesting thing about all this is that it seems like we are reaching more people on YouTube than we ever reach across all the churches in our Circuit on a normal Sunday. And the same is true across the whole country and across denominations apparently. This seems strange to those of us who are used to going to church and for whom it is normal to be in that environment. But church isn't a normal environment for lots of people. Giving church a try is probably easier to do remotely and anonymously than turning up somewhere where you're not sure what's going to happen or how to participate. People perhaps find it easier to engage online than in person. And Church with PJs and coffee might be more attractive even to seasoned churchgoers than church with Sunday best, crowded buses and tidying up to do afterwards! That's certainly understandable! At some point we shall have to decide what to do about that. I imagine myself in the future sitting making a Circuit Plan with a YouTube slot at the bottom. How exciting! We've been talking about doing church differently for about thirty years at least. And here we are, forced to do it.
Of course evangelism / reaching people is one of the things churches are called to engage in. It's probably the most difficult of the many things we do and the one people usually feel guilty about not being very good at. Yet the current situation shows that when things get bad, people do wonder about faith and ask those basic questions about the meaning of life and whether there is a God. And most people pray, it seems to me from conversations I have. At times like this, being led in prayer becomes important as people seek reassurance and perhaps seek structure to unstructured belief. Maybe you find some of your own reassurance and structure as you tune in and share with us. I hope so.
Any feedback on the YouTube services would be appreciated. Obviously they are a work in progress. Thank you to all those who support us in this venture.
Stay safe and stay in touch.
Yours in Christ,