Update: 17th March 2020
We expect that this will be the first of many bulletins as part of our communication plan in response to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Within this bulletin:
- assurance from the SCF’s Elders & Directors concerning our response.
- details of the actions we are taking, including
- notification that The Bridge will be closed for all groups, effective from 09:00 on Wednesday 18 March 2020: including
- there will NOT be a meeting on Sunday 22 March 2020; but,
- that we the SCF Church Family need to continue to support one another and our neighbours.
- some practical suggestions for staying in contact.
SCF’s Elders & Directors:
As Elders & Directors we have been actively monitoring the UK Government’s advice re Covid 19 and implementing actions in alignment with that advice. Last week Anna, Ben and Dave Shore were asked to take responsibility for defining and coordinating the actions that we, the SCF Church Family, need to take.
UK Government advice:
The advice given by the UK Government yesterday (16Mar20) in response to the Coronavirus (Covid 19 virus) outbreak was unprecedented during peacetime. Anna, Ben and David met yesterday (16Mar20) evening to discern what SCFs response should be.
Activities at The Bridge
The advice from the Government is clear that none essential travel and social gatherings should be avoided. Therefore we are putting all activities that are run from The Bridge on hold effective from 09:00 on Wednesday 18 March 2020. These activities include: Bereavement Support group; LAH; Stay N Play, Community Lunch; and Babies at The Bridge, and all other mid-week groups operating from The Bridge as well as our Sunday morning meetings (there will NOT be a meeting on Sunday 22Mar20)
Our role as The SCF Church Family:
Our role as followers of Jesus Christ, and as members of The SCF Church family does not stop. We have always made a distinction between ‘The Church Family’ and ‘The Bridge’. The SCF Church Family is who we are and The Bridge is where we meet. The doors to The Bridge will be ‘closed’ for a while but, the doors to Solihull Christian Fellowship, and the role we play in the community, will not.
Over the next 24hrs as a Leadership Team we will be praying and planning how we can continue to function as the Church Family. In the meantime, please do the following:
- “Like us” or “follow us” on Facebook we are https://www.facebook.com/SolihullChristianFellowship/ This may become the quickest and simplest way to communicate
- Keep checking your email – Mailchimp will be an important tool for communication
- Our website is www.scfchurch.org.uk
- think about who you know in the Church Family that may be feeling isolated – perhaps they haven’t got access to electronic media or are self-isolating. Please take the initiative to reach out to them in appropriate ways.
- prayerfully consider your neighbours and other contacts who may be feeling isolated. Ask God to reveal how you may be “salt & light” in your community at this time. Now is the time to bring light into the darkness.
- use the opportunities that this pandemic is providing to bring the Hope of the Gospel into people’s lives.
Many of us are in home groups. At times like this they become important ways to connect, keeping in contact with one another; this is a time when we need to reach out to one another for support, companionship and connection. We live in a time when technology enables us to do this whilst still continuing to adhere to the UK government’s advice. Telephone calls, messaging, FaceTime or Skype become invaluable tools to reach out to people and offer support; prayers, conversation and help in any way you can. Pick up an SCF directory, think about those who live alone, may be in a high-risk groups and send them a message.
If you regularly attend Solihull Christian Fellowship but are not in a home group then please call into the office and leave your name and contact details, including telephone number and email. This will enable us to ensure we send you communication updates. We may be able to place you in a ‘virtual group’ for connection and support.
There is a lot to do over the next 24-48hrs and we will be communicating with group leaders and all church members more over the next few days. Our mission to share the Good News, the love of Jesus has not changed, there is still a mission, an assignment and a task to live out as followers of Jesus. Let’s rise up and show the world how The Church is different.
God Bless you all
Solihull Christian Fellowship
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Matthew 25:35
Our Community Lunch has recently become an official Place of Welcome! This is an initiative that began in Birmingham and has spread to Solihull. Places of Welcome is a growing network of local community groups providing their communities with places where all people feel safe to belong, connect and contribute. In a Place of Welcome, people can come, meet new friends and ask about what happens in the “place”. Numbers attending our free Community Lunch are at 50-70 each week and it continues to be a hive of activity with some great food and conversations. Talk to James, Andrea or Rachel Murray if you would like to know more or get involved!
Our Christmas wreath making evening was a great success! We had fun creating new memories and beautiful holiday wreaths to celebrate the birth of Christ. Thank you to Ros Hinks and Denise Ross for your instruction and enthusiasm. We learned a new skill and the symbolic meaning behind Christmas wreaths. With mulled wine, mince pies and much laughter, we had a wonderful evening of being creative and sharing the message of Christmas. Well done to everyone involved!
We’re looking forward to celebrating Jesus’ birthday! From our shared lunch & talent show to Christmas Eve carols with mince pies, hot drinks and mulled wine, we’re sure you’ll enjoy celebrating Christmas with us. All are most welcome.
We had great fun at our Pumpkin Heroes Party on the 31st of October! Our building was packed with families and children, all having a whopping good time. Together we made approximately 400 crafts, played endless games, shared the World Vision Pumpkin Story continuously for an hour, served a 180 hot dogs, gave away approximately 80 Bible storybooks, and countless sweets!! But most importantly we declared Jesus as the light of the World! We love engaging with and supporting our community here in Shirley!
A really blessed time was had by all who attended our Ladies Conference. This year our theme was Transformation – the transforming of Christ and Christ within us and transforming those around us. Guests included Rachel McGuiness sharing on the Wellbeing through Faith course and the charity tastelife who help people with issues around food, body image and eating disorders.
With worship, teaching ministry and a selection of workshops to choose from it was a packed day ending with communion and testimonies. We thank God for the transformations that took place and know that “He who began a good work in (us) will carry it through to completion…”. (Phil 1:6)
SIAS Drop-in Clinic, Wednesdays at our free Community Lunch 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Solihull Christian Fellowship’s free Community Lunch is partnering with SIAS, Solihull Intergrated Addiction Services. SIAS seeks to support those who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness. Ed and/or Darren will be joining us every Wednesday for our free Community Lunch, which runs 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm. Ed and Darren will be at Community Lunch to offer advise and support to anyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness. This can be an informal chat or more of a structured meeting.
They are also able to help with:
- Housing advice
- Budget plans and debt
- Local authority application forms
- Substance misuse
You may know of someone who is homeless, or is at risk of being so, and want to speak to Darren or Ed about the best way to help them. Or bring them along to the lunch and they can enjoy a good cooked meal as well as getting some help and support. For more information visit SIAS’ webpage: https://www.sias-solihull.org.uk/
Our Children’s leaders meet every first Thursday of the month to pray for the children and youth of SCF and the local community, everyone is welcome. They felt guided to pray as the Apostle Paul prayed, full of faith and power making strong declarations in The Lord. As part of this one of our leaders painted this picture adapted from Ephesians chapter 3 verses 15 -19 as a covering over our Children. May they know the Love of Christ in their lives.