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Good Friday email

Dear parishioners and friends at Knockbreda,

On this Good Friday we remember Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins.  ‘One died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might not live for themselves but for him, who for their sake died and was raised’ (2 Corinthians 5.15).

I trust you are keeping well in these highly unusual circumstances.  Please continue to follow the government’s guidance as we appear to be moving into a phase when the virus may be reaching its peak.

Please also continue to use the opportunity to grow in faith.  In God’s providence we have been able to use online media to scatter the seed of the gospel on Sundays (at 10.30 and 6.30 on the church website), throughout this past Holy Week (find Jonny’s Bible Voyagers Club on the Knockbreda YouTube channel) and through united services this week with St. Jude’s and Saintfield Road.  I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has been involved in these online gospel ministries.  There is a lot of work goes into preparing the videos and Jonny in particular has spent a lot of time preparing very professionally the Easter Club.  Thanks too to Anna and Stuart.

You can catch up with all our Holy Week videos on the Knockbreda YouTube channel  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrvBYWQeGj2UjQ8TckCFbHQ

Easter Sunday 2020 will be remembered as a time when Christians could not gather as they usually would and yet still managed to proclaim the risen Jesus through the technology God has provided at this point in history.

Julie Curry has provided two children’s talks on video for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  I would encourage you to share all the material we are putting online with all your contacts – especially the children’s resources.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5a_7XZHIJo

https://youtu.be/-z34AhYOvlo

If you find yourself stuck for supplies or groceries please contact me at the rectory and we will try our best to help.  There is a local group who will have also offered to help and they have asked me to include the following message in this email:

‘A Volunteering Group called BT8 Coronvirus Community Outreach has been set up to support those family and friends within our Community who are self isolating at this very difficult time that we all find ourselves in. The Group is made up of over 340 Volunteers within the local area who will have made themselves known to you by posting leaflets through all doors identifying who they are along with their telephone number. This Group is there to support all of us with the collection of food and medications in order to ensure that those of us within our community who need to self isolate can do so. To self isolate away from our friends, family and support structure is difficult at any stage however it is vitally important, that in order to protect those that we love, the message to stay indoors is respected and adhered too. The BT8 Group is here to lessen the burden on us all to ensure that foods and medication is delivered safely to your door. I would urge you to use this service if you have been identified as falling within the vulnerable groups. 

If your leaflet has been misplaced then please feel free to contact the church and we can provide you with a contact number for your nearest volunteer.’

I am also including the following email from our mission partners Chris and Lotta in Stockholm.

‘Dear friends here comes a short prayer update for April.

Due to the COVID-19 we have been running our Sunday services online via Zoom. It’s great encouragement to see how we still managed to involve a lot of people in the church on our online service by reading the bible texts, prayers and songs. After the service almost everybody stays online to continue to chat with each other. God has been so gracious to us.

New projects:
Our original plan was to start a bible study group in our home in Åkersberga but things didn’t turn out as we wished due to the COVID-19. Instead we decided to do a weekly online bible study, which will start this coming Wednesday. We will first finish Genesis and then continue with the book of Jonah. This way we will be doing the Old Testament in the bible study, and New Testament on our Sunday service.  Right now we are preaching through Philippians and after we will do a series on the book of Acts, followed by 1 Peter. 
We also have another new interesting project  that will probably be launched next week. We are planning to start an online radio channel, from our home, to broadcast morning devotions & prayer. Both of us have been working with Christian radio in the past and are looking forward to taking on this project.
Also there seems to be an overwhelming need for elderly people to have their groceries brought home to them and the local grocery stores can’t cope with the great demand so we decided to sign up and help those who are in great need. This way we will get the opportunity to get to know new people here in Åkersberga.
Like everybody else, we are trying to adapt as much as we can to the current situation and find new ways to preach and share the gospel. Please pray for us concerning this. 

Thanksgiving points:

  • That we are healthy and can continue to work. 

Prayer points:

  • Pray for new opportunities to meet people in our new community.
  • Pray for Emmaus church’s online ministry and the ministry to serve the local community
  • Some people in the church have also lost their jobs, please pray for them as they are trying to find new work. We know that the situation is similar in the UK, and that we will be facing a situation our generation has never seen before. It will challenge us in many ways.

Wish you all a happy and blessed Easter

All the best and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ
Chris & Lotta, and Obi wan Kenobi (the cat!)’

Mission continues all over the world and we want to unite in prayer with our mission partners for the gospel to be received everywhere.

I would just briefly remind you about giving to God’s work and encourage you to set up a Standing Order with the church, if at all possible – please contact Heather.

Please don’t be discouraged.  We will get through this time of isolation and be reunited on Sundays and in small groups.  God is more powerful than any virus.  He has demonstrated his power even over death at Easter.  The tomb was empty; the Saviour had risen.

“Christ is risen!  The Lord is risen indeed!  Alleluia!”

God bless, Happy Easter,

Bill