April 2021 Update
It was wonderful to be able to begin the process of regathering together in person over the Easter weekend. We just wanted to update you on our current thinking going forward. Hopefully, your question/s will be answered here!
What is the big picture plan for the summer term?
As an eldership team we’ve been seeking God, thinking, praying, and talking about the future, and we feel that we are entering a season of “re-gathering” that is about more than just meeting in person again. We’ve had a number of prophetic words about how we gather, about things God is doing in us as a church community, about healing, getting “match fit”, finding our feet, and giving plenty of time and space for people, as we get used to “doing church” again.
This is our priority over the next few months, and where, when, and, how we meet will reflect this. We are committed to not rushing the process of seeing where God will lead us next and not just going back to “how things were before” without reflecting on and processing the lessons we have learned over the last 12 months.
What is happening over the next few weeks?
We will firstly open the 10.30 meeting up to include a congregation as part of the live stream.
From Sunday 25 April, we will add an in-person-only meeting (that is not streamed) at 15.30 in our Station Road building, and we will add more in-person meetings as demand grows. The meetings will be staggered throughout the day to allow enough time in between for cleaning, resetting, and worship teams to prepare.
How can I attend one of the meetings?
You will need to pre-register and book a (free) ticket in order to be able to attend. Please see here for more details.
Will I be able to come if I haven’t pre-registered?
Unfortunately not. Due to Covid restrictions, we are only able to allow entry to those who have pre-booked a ticket.
What if I don’t manage to get a ticket, can I come next week?
Tickets are currently released on a first come first served basis and will be available seven days before. As demand for tickets increases, we will add more meetings so that everyone who wants to attend in person can attend.
I’m new to New Community, can I come?
Absolutely! We would love to meet you in person if you have joined us online or even if you have never been before.
When will our venues re-open?
During this re-gathering stage, we will remain meeting as One Church. The only reason we are meeting in Sidcup is that is where we own a building. At some stage, when we feel it is right timing-wise, we will relaunch in different locations (we may even launch some new ones too!)
Will we continue streaming?
Yes. The 10.30 meeting will continue to be streamed via our YouTube channel until the summer at least.
What’s happening for children?
From Sunday 25 April we will be offering limited places for children’s ministry at our in-person meetings initially. To begin with, we will be able to offer 30 spaces per meeting (in groups of 15) for children in primary school (reception to year six). Each child will need to have a ticket, and you can book these when you book your adult ticket.
The plan is to continue to produce the outstanding Kids Church videos which will be sent to parents and carers each week for those families who are unable to join in person. You can catch a glimpse of what it's like here!
Our in-person children’s ministry will also use the videos in an interactive group setting, as we ensure that all New Community children are following the same teaching content, and as we explore what children’s ministry might look like post-covid. (If you would like to receive a weekly link to Kids Church please contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
What about younger children?
Truthfully, for a variety of reasons and restrictions, things are a little more complicated for our youngest members. We are working on some plans, but for the time being, parents/carers of pre-school children are welcome to bring them along, and we will make some space away from the main hall for you to take your child if they (or you!) are struggling to be in the meeting. The meeting will be streamed into this space so that you can still participate in the adult meeting.
What's happening for youth?
Our youth will continue to meet online on a Tuesday for Bible study, and on a Sunday afternoon for outdoor activities (these sessions are also open for year 6 pupils). Please contact Cyril for further information.
How can I help the return to in-person gatherings?
There are a few ways you can help;
1. Continue to be flexible! We’ve all had to adapt to new normals over the last year, and that is likely to continue. We will no doubt continue to have to make changes as we move forward. Thank you for your continued patience!
2. Make the most of the opportunity. As we meet as One Church at different times (and for many, in a different place), this is an opportunity to look at church through fresh eyes. As meetings will be smaller, we all have an opportunity to participate more, to contribute, to use our gifts, to serve in a new way, to build up the body. Even something as simple as being prepared to go to church at a different time of day to when you’ve gone in the past will help build the church.
3. Get involved serving. As we return to in-person gatherings there are two things going on; (1) the need to serve these gatherings and (2) the opportunity to reshape what things look like. We are looking for everyone to get involved in whatever way they can. Specifically, on Sundays, we’re looking for people to serve our children, play in worship bands, be part of tech teams, and host teams. We appreciate that not everyone is able, but if you are, head over here and get involved!
My question has not been answered here.
Please get in touch and we will do our best to answer any question you have!