Kiwi Baptist and chaplain, Paul Askin, writes the following (quoted from The Baptist Magazine of New Zealand)
A global pandemic! It’s a crisis for sure. No one knows how the future is going to unfold. Predictions vary from gloomy to catastrophic. Uncertainty is the only certainty. This is true for everyone, including leaders in Christian communities.
I have learnt in a crisis to ask questions rather than desperately look for answers to my immediate problems. I figure I can’t arrive at good answers if I don’t first ask the right questions. So I would like to share with you some of the questions I’m asking right now.
What’s actually happening?
Before focusing on the future, we have to understand and accept the present. We might not like it, we might hate it, that’s okay, but, “It is what it is.” God is with us in present realities.
It’s good to ask ourselves, as David did, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:11, NIV). This approach helps us understand and manage the mix of thoughts and feelings we naturally experience in a crisis. A theology of celebration is great, but just as important is a theology of lament to enable us to process the pain, suffering, and confusion we experience at times.
What pitfalls do I need to avoid in this crisis?
Some common responses to crisis are unhelpful, for example: denial, anger, blaming, withdrawal, and self-medicating in some way. Hankering for a return to the way things were is no use. We must accept that serious crises permanently change us all. The lives we lead and the future we move into are different.
How do I walk with God through this crisis?
Crises can easily distract us. We can become very busy responding to immediate needs as we see them, but a crisis is, more than ever, a time to seek the Lord’s wisdom, to follow his direction, and to focus on keeping in step with the Spirit. He is true to his word and is with us.
What is God saying?
There are some things we have already heard loud and clear; we are called to be people of love and courage. The fruit of the Spirit is to be evident in our lives. Character speaks louder than action. Then before we leap into trying to fix the problems we face, we must hear God’s word in the crisis. God, who leads us forward, is the God of new things. Even the worst crisis can become an adventure of discovery with God. Learning to trust God in a crisis is a spiritual skill that can only be learned in a crisis. In our painful times we are changed as we learn to take refuge in God rather than the lies and idols we are tempted to trust.
Sometimes God uses a crisis to help us face issues we have previously consigned to the ‘too hard’ basket.
How can God’s people shine in the crisis?
God’s people have experienced devastating crises many times down through the years and often in these times they have been found to shine. They have been the ‘plausibility structure’ for the gospel.
For us, it might be weeks, even months, before we can hold the gatherings we are accustomed to. The financial ramifications of this crisis will probably be severe. However God is not thwarted, the church will continue to exist and function. In this crisis, let’s gladly anticipate God leading us creatively into new ways of being his people, making disciples, being church, being his witnesses to the whole world. With God the future is secure.
Making the Most of Disaster:
This Sunday, we pick up the story of Philip - a man who can teach us some things about not letting disaster deflate us. You can check out his story in Acts 8.
Kids Programmes during Lockdown
There will be not Blaze or Spark's programmes running due to covid restrictions.
So come as a bubble with any questions you may have about RBC Youth and a plan on how y'all will become quiz champions.
7 pm Friday 1 October
Click here to join
We’re ZOOMING Online!
On Sunday 3 October, we will be having our very first worship service by Zoom! Zoom is an online meeting program which you can download and use for free by downloading the program by clicking here. If you would like to join in (we hope you do!), please download and install the program before next Sunday. If you would like help doing this, please contact the church office and we can connect you with someone who can help.
A link for the service will be emailed to you by 9:30am on Sunday 3 October as per normal. You can just click on this link at 10am to join in with the service. If you don't wish to be a part of this, the service will also be recorded and a link for this will be posted later on in the afternoon so you can view it.
This Sunday, 26 September, will be our normal pre-recorded service.
Virtual Morning Tea
This Sunday at 11:30 am, after our worship service has been posted, we will be having a Virtual Morning Tea!
Get your biscuit and a cup of coffee and sit down for a Zoom chit-chat with others! Catch up on others' weeks, talk about whatever, leave whenever you wish, enjoy some fellowship!
The young people are also invited to this, and then will have a 'break-out' Ignite youth meeting using the same zoom link, which Matt will organise.
Giving to our Community During Lockdown
There are many in need in our community during lockdown. If you would like to contribute financially, a couple of good options would be to Vision West (click here) or contact Ruapōtaka Marae in Glen Innes on 09 5705340.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are unable to meet in person for our mainly Music session. However, we are running online sessions! We will be posting a link to our online session on our Facebook page every Tuesday at 10am. Come and sing along with us!
Young Adults Home Group
Every Sunday evening at 7:30pm. Please email the church to be added to the Facebook page, and check Facebook for updates of what we have going on. We'd love for you to join us!
Basix Small Group
Basix is a series of chat group courses looking at the basics of the Christian faith. Each course runs for four weeks, and discusses questions about who God is, life and the Christian faith. Please contact the office if you are interested.
Wednesday Night Home Group
Home Group at the home of Paul and Ruth Ungemuth every second and fourth Wednesday at 7:30pm. Each week we share in supper, do a bible study and pray for each other. Will begin on Wednesday 13 February. Contact the office for more information.
Thursday Morning Home Group
Home Group in the church lounge on the third Thursday of the month at 10am. After morning tea we do a bible study and pray together. Contact the office for more information.