Prayer Times

As the COVID restrictions ease, the deacons are encouraging everyone to come together and spend some time praying about the shape of the church's worshipping life going into the future.

We have set aside four times to do this, with some taking place on Zoom and some at the chapel.

Week 1

Week 2

  • Tues 27th July - 8pm - Zoom
  • Thurs 29th July - 10.30am - Ebenezer Chapel

We'd love it if everyone could commit to coming to at least one of the times in each week. At each one, we'll be sharing some information and ideas for reflection, as well as allowing plenty of time to pray and share together. We'll also be adding the information shared to this page to help you pray at home.

If you're planning on joining us in the chapel, please read the information in the red box to the right (or below on a mobile) so you know what COVID safety measures will be in place. For those joining us on Zoom, details will be sent out in the weekly email. If you don't receive this but would like to come, please get in touch.

Praying Hands

COVID Safety

If you're planning on joining us at the Chapel, the following restrictions apply:

  • Please don't come if you have any symptoms of COVID or have been asked to self-isolate.
  • Your details will be taken for Test & Trace purposes.
  • Please wear a face covering (unless medically exempt) on arrival and when moving around the building. You can take it off whilst sat down.
  • Households will be able to sit together, but we can only allow one household per pew. Please follow all directions from the stewards.
  • If you develop any COVID symptoms after being with us, please let us know as soon as possible.

Week One

Please click here for a PDF of the Powerpoint presentation we used for these prayer times.

This week we:

  • Looked back at the story of how God has led us to where we are now, giving thanks for his faithfulness and guidance.
  • Talked about some of the challenges we face moving into the future, and the difficulty of finding a location and style of worship which provided for everyone.
  • Talked and prayed about five 'foundations', proposed by the deacons, which we will hope will guide our prayers and discussion.
    • We will keep in line with the guidance set out by the BU.
    • Planning for a return to in-person (onsite) worship will happen in a thoughtful, patient and above all prayerful way.
    • We commit to being a hospitable community, offering a welcome to all and providing a space for family and fellowship across all ages and sectors.
    • We commit to being sensitive to others and considering their needs before our own.
    • We commit to provide, if at all possible, real time online access to the main teaching and worship of the church every week.
  • Talked about some of the pros and cons of using both the chapel and the school (see the PDF above for these) and prayed for guidance as to how we might proceed.
  • Watched the video 'Building a Bigger Table' - a talk given at the SWBA AGM by Rev Hayley Young (incoming president of the BU).

During the prayer times, a couple of pictures and Bible verses were offered which might help with your own prayers. These were:

  • In my minds eye I saw loads of ‘tikka tape’ coming down like in American celebrations.  I thought it was ‘manna’ and loads of it pouring down on us. And I thought 'It’s Gods provision! God blessed the children of Israel in the desert!' Then the words ‘I will open the floodgates of heaven’ followed. And the whole verse, ‘Trust me in this, bring your whole tithe into the storehouse and will I not open the floodgates of heaven!' (Malachi 3:10)
  • Matthew 16:18: 'I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it.'
  • The need to pray for people able to run the technical side of things, as well as strong people able to move stuff!

Week Two

Please click here for a PDF of the Powerpoint presentation we used for these prayer times.

This week we:

  • Briefly reviewed the information shared in last week's prayer times.
  • Re-iterated the five foundational values for this time of prayer and discernment (see above).
  • Outlined both the model of church we've been using until now ('centred model'), and a suggestion about one way we could move to a 'multi-centred model'. See the PDF above for more details.
  • Talked about some of the pros and cons of both these approaches.
  • Reflected on the message from the previous Sunday's sermon, asking if God was calling us to stay in the boat - on the path he's already placed us on - or get out of the boat and do something different.
  • Spent some time praying about the following points:
    • Pray for God’s leading and guiding in these next few weeks as we consider the possibilities and demands of a new model of church.
    • Are there other ideas that God gives you to balance the needs and preferences of the whole church?
    • To use the analogy of Sunday’s passage, (Matthew 14) what does it mean for us to stay in the boat? And who or what do we need to enable us to do this?
    • Where is Jesus?  Is he calling us to do something new?

Five Values of Baptist People

Last summer we ran a sermon series looking at the five values of being a Baptist people:

  • Spirit Led Community
  • Feel Like a Team
  • Embracing Adventure
  • Inspiring Others
  • Hunger for God's Kingdom

You may find it helpful to watch these again as we pray about the future. You can find them in the playlist right/below.