FRIDAY 3rd APRIL
We trust you are well and enjoying being at home, working from home, or are keeping safe if you are still going in to a workplace.
Sunday Online Join us for our Palm Sunday Service this coming Sunday. Get ready at 9.55am for the countdown quiz and a very cool grand entry filmed by our very own Andy and Jack Prosser! Children, you can find attached here a copy of this week’s activity sheet in preparation for Sunday!
On-line Devotion Take 20 minutes to find encouragement and a word in season this weekend from Philippians 1:1-11 as Tim shares from the scriptures how the Apostle Paul transformed his confinement under two years of house arrest in Rome, year AD61! This will be the beginning of a series building us up in the Word over this time. Click on the image to the left.
Small Groups on-line Everyone in the church now has a chance to link up with others in Small Groups online. These Zoom groups give a chance to catch up with others in the church and pray together, and help us to feel more connected at a time when we’re being encouraged to ‘stay at home’! We have the following groups meeting at present on the days indicated:
- Stukeley (Tues and Fri) – Karen and Debby
- Hinchingbrooke (Thurs) – Trevor and Jayne
- Broughton (Tues) – Richard and Helene
- Ladies Group (Fri mornings) – Jean
If you’d like to be part of one of these groups, email us at email@example.com.
Easter Sunday We are going to be gathering online for an Easter Celebration 10am Sunday 12th April. Families look out for the video on planting parsnips by Tim and Ania on the HCC Church Family Facebook group and a packet of seeds and activities Ania is sending out to you through the post this weekend! Next week’s activity sheet will be released on Monday, packed full of Easter activities. We also want to ask ALL OF US if we can send in a photo or video recording of any evidence you can see of ‘new life’ around you! It could be a Spring flower or bud in your garden, or new life in nature you might spy on your daily exercise e.g. some lambs or ducklings you come across in your local fields or area. It might even become a quest!! Could you send those to Tim by Thursday 9th April.
Tim and Trevor
TUESDAY 31st MARCH
Thank you everyone for joining us for our online service last Sunday. We really hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for all the positive feedback you have given us! If you missed it or want to share the service with friends and family you can catch it again at hccuk.online.church.
This Coming Sunday
Join us again this coming Sunday at 9.55am for our 10.00am service complete with Zoom coffee catch-up afterwards. It will be Palm Sunday and we will be asking the question: how do we receive Jesus as King in our lives?
We would love to have your help:
- Have you got a photo or story of arriving somewhere in style, or when you waited for a special event, or have you had your photo with a celebrity? We’d love you to share them with us!
- Have you got a testimony of what it means for Jesus to be king in your life? What does it mean for you today? Could you send it in a short video clip. Or, could you tell us of the impact your faith is having for you at this time?
- Children, we have attached another activity sheet for this week – can you make a Palm branch to bring with you?
Please can you share anything back by Wednesday evening, and we will be in touch.
On Easter Sunday, the theme is going to be ‘hope out of the darkness’ as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and its meaning for us today.
We would like to invite you to plant a seed or a bulb at home this week and to take a photo of it each day to record its progress as it germinates and springs into life in the run up to the Easter weekend.
As families you might also be planting Easter gardens for school and could record your garden in a photo diary to show us how it comes to life.
Small groups are continuing online during this period! Everyone in the church is invited to take part in a small group connection, whether you were part of one before lockdown started or not! Come back to us if you would like to be part of a weekly catch-up together with others.
Jean Casling runs a weekly ladies small group at 10am on Fridays. Ladies, if you’d like to join in the Zoom call for that, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and Jean will send you the link.
Taking Care of One Another
As ever, please let us know if you are in need of any essentials or need support in any way. We will be delighted to try and help.
Tim and Trevor
FRIDAY 27th MARCH
We hope that those of you at home have had a peaceful week and that those who are still in the workplace are coping well under the new way of doing life!
A reminder that the new HCC Church Family Facebook page will have posts and information from the church family often relating to the Sunday service. It’s a closed group, so find the page, ask for an invitation and join the chat!
Today we want to tell you a little about Sunday’s online service.
Sunday’s service is being brought to you by Tim Anderson, Richard Schwier, Helen Cobby and Trevor Payne along with the Schwobby band and various other contributers!
Get Ready! Reach the service by clicking on the image to the right, by going to hccuk.online.church, or by going to our website www.hccuk.org, and clicking the first item ‘Online Church’ under the Church Life menu. The service introduction will start at 9.55am, ready for the main event at 10.00am! To get everyone involved there will be a quiz to have a go at before the service begins that will be displayed on the screen before the service starts.
The Peace After the opening time of praise we’ll say the Lord’s prayer together followed by a 5 minute pause when we will take a break in the service to send a text, WhatsApp message or phone someone to say hi and exchange a brief encouragement with someone else in the church. You might like to think beforehand who you might contact and have your phone at the ready!
Interact During the service broadcast there will be a panel on the right of your screen where you can ‘chat’ – put up comments, reactions, thoughts, words of encouragement or scriptures as we share in the time together. The team will be on hand to reply to your comments!
Sound You might wish to enhance the sound through listening through a pair of head phones or Bluetooth speaker.
Tea and Coffee will be Served after the Service! At the end, for any that would like, as we would normally do, we are going to meet up over coffee or a cup of tea, but in Zoom! We’ll take a 5 minute break after the end of the service to grab a coffee and to reconvene on Zoom. Use this link https://zoom.us/j/6109041991 to join us there. This will last for 10-15 minutes.
Giving We would normally take up an offering during our Sunday service. In this time when we are not meeting we can instead give through GoCardless and Stripe via the Donate page on our website here.
We look forward to having you with us on Sunday for the first in a new type of church expression, truly HCC’s ‘next step’!
Tim and Trevor
TUESDAY 24th March
At the start of this week I want to tell you how we are meeting up on-line and keeping connected.
Meet in small groups online this week
Firstly, we’re excited to announce that small groups are going online this week! If you are not part of a small group and would like to join one of our online groups, please contact email@example.com to find out which one might best suit you! You will be hearing from your group leader how to join the gathering.
This Sunday we go online as a church!
This Sunday we are broadcasting our first HCC Sunday service online via our website at 10am. We invite all of you to join us! The service will have something for everyone and will be a chance to worship together, pray together and share community. We are church, we are family and we can still gather!
Over the next two Sundays we will be joining the final stages of Jesus’ journey to the Cross which will climax on Easter Sunday in a special on-line resurrection celebration!
In readiness for this Sunday, this morning, twelve families received a packet of ‘worship and activities’ on their door step in preparation for us looking at Mark 14:1-9 and the anointing of Jesus at Bethany in an outrageous act of worship in a time of great danger. See the picture above of Aeva Wales taking hers indoors!
In the meantime, for everyone else, we would like to invite you to begin to familiarise yourself with the passage and begin to allow God to speak to you through it at this time.
Instructions on how to join the Sunday service online
To reach the Sunday service you will be able either to go directly to hccuk.online.church or go to the HCC website, click on the Church Life menu, and then click Online Church.
How to keep in touch and connected with the HCC church family over this time
We just wanted to run through with you the main ways we are going to be communicating with you each week and keeping connected online. These are:
- Church-wide Emails – emails such as this one, which will be sent out on a Tuesday and Friday.
- Video update – each week there will be a video update from Tim or a member of the team which you can catch across all our communication platforms from email, to website, and Facebook
- Website – our website, with a new page for news updates during the coronavirus outbreak which can be reached via a button on the front page. There will also be a page for our new online Sunday services which will appear under the Church Life menu or you can reach directly at hccuk.online.church
- Facebook – we have several Facebook pages, each with specific purpose:
- Huntingdonshire Community Church – our public facing church page
- HCC Church Family – this is a NEW closed page, where members have to request access, with posts from HCC folk which may be a little more personal – please request access to this on the page
- HCC Events – a page we have had for a while that promotes our outreach events into the community
- HCC Rainbow Toddler Group – connecting all the families who come to Tuesday toddler group
- Zoom – We have also been using Zoom for meeting up on-line – please contact Trevor if you would like help setting yourself up on Zoom. In the picture you can see how it looked on Sunday with 23 homes in the call (nearly 30 people!)
- WhatsApp – There are a number of WhatsApp groups covering small groups and other areas of activity within the church. Of note is the HCC Prayer Chain. Please confirm if you would like to be added to this group. It is here for prayer requests which can be circulated within the church.
Prayer during the Virus Outbreak
Repeating what is above, please do let us know by replying to this email if you’d like to join the HCC Prayer Chain WhatsApp group. Hopefully everyone in HCC will join this. It’s important we hold each other, and those we love, up in prayer through this time. We also have an intercessors WhatsApp prayer group and a prayer call over Zoom at 9am on a Sunday morning – please let us know if you would like to join that.
In Conclusion …
Sorry there is a lot of information here, but we wanted to let you know there are lots of ways you can keep in touch, be encouraged and keep informed. Many of these platforms are interactive and we would love to hear items of news from you, sharing any points of humour, prayer requests and answers to prayer, your best activity ideas, what you’ve been up to and so much more!!
Stay blessed and have a favoured week!
FRIDAY 20th MARCH
What a week!
In my email on Tuesday, you will have read HCC’s response to the things being asked of us as a nation to curb this virus and to support one another through this time.
We want to play our part.
Whilst we are being asked to physically distance ourselves from one another, as a church, let’s decide to become relationally and spiritually even stronger and closer, but through different ways!
Let’s have a purpose that we will come out of this time having really supported each other, had more phone calls with each other, connected with each other on-line in new ways, having prayed more together, having understood each other’s fears and stood with each other to see God’s provision. Let’s share the challenges together and keep each other’s spirits up!!
These are days for FAITH and not fear!
We also might find ourselves having more time. Why don’t we use this time to still ourselves before God and connect with Him in a new way? We’ll be recommending some great reads to enrich our walks with God. We’ll also be releasing an HCC Spotify playlist that we can use to meet with our Father God out on a walk or in our living rooms.
RightNow Media is also full of great videos for all ages! This is an online Christian ‘Netflix’ we subscribe to as a church containing loads of video resources that you can access for free. If you haven’t already, you can join and take advantage of HCC’s subscription RightNow here.
Weekly Video Update
Each week Tim or one of the team will be releasing a video update. Here’s his update for this week! Click on the image.
Over this time we will be launching three main ways we can all keep connected:
1. HCC Sunday On-line
Each Sunday morning (starting 29th March) we are going to release a 25min Easter HCC video experience that will take us as a church through the Easter episodes as we complete our series on Mark’s Gospel. It will be full of updates, sketches, content, worship, prayers and features from around the HCC community including feedback from some challenges we’re going to be releasing for our children and young people to do from the Monday to the Wednesday before.
2. On-line Small Groups and New Connect Groups
If you are already in a small group we are designing a way you can keep meeting on-line. But we’re also looking at some new collaborations for those who aren’t in small groups and would like to connect into some new on-line forums to keep connected in a relevant and helpful way. Watch this space on how these will launch.
3. On-line Prayer on Zoom!
Prayer is going to be one thing we won’t stop. At 7pm this Sunday evening, light a candle in your front window and join us for our first on-line prayer meeting using Zoom. This is part of the Evangelical Alliance’s call for a national day of prayer this Sunday; more information on this can be found here.
Zoom Use of Zoom is free of charge and you can do so through your PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. It is a very popular and easy to use means of connecting by voice or video over the internet. To take part in the call, at 7pm, go to this link. Here is a link to a short video showing how to connect to a Zoom call you might care to watch first.
Also this Sunday – A Walk in the Park
This Sunday Debby Flint will be taking a walk in Hinchingbrooke park (with her dog), and she invites us all to join her for fellowship and prayer. We will follow the government guidelines about staying safe, so no hugs or physical contact and we’ll walk at a safe distance from each other. Please stay at home if you have a temperature or a new cough. The cafe and the toilets are closed with the nearest at Hinchingbrooke hospital. We’ll meet outside the cafe at 10.30am. See you there!
Above all – We are here to support you.
For help, a chat or support, contact your small group leaders or one of us as a staff team: Tim, Trevor, Jean, Richard, Helen, Ania.
We have a small but growing church-wide prayer WhatsApp group that anyone can post a need and receive prayer from across the church. If you’d like to join this, just reply to this email.
Technically, if you need any help setting yourself up with any of the online tools please talk to someone technically-minded in your small group, or call Trevor who will guide you through.
Why don’t we make it our aim to phone a different person each evening in the church? Or to meet up with another couple on Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime once you’ve put the kids to bed. Or create a Bible study group with some friends over a WhatsApp video groups. There are so many ways of staying connected!
Stay safe, stay connected, be blessed!!
TUESDAY 17th MARCH
Yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister calling us all to take immediate and decisive action to counter the spread of coronavirus as a nation needs to be taken seriously both for our own benefit and for those more vulnerable within our community.
These are unprecedented times which will impact many of us in a variety of ways. There will be effects on ourselves as individuals, our friends and families, and in some cases, our finances.
What is our response?
Firstly, we are going to pray At this time, our trust is in our good Father and His hand of protection. We resist anxiety and instead we are going to pray. We are going to pray for those affected directly and indirectly by this virus. It’s going to be a difficult time for many people. We need to pray.
Key verses are: 2 Chronicles 7:13-16, Psalm 91.
Secondly, we are here for one another. As a leadership, church and staff team we are focused on providing the support and connection needed for us all to walk through this time together. We will need to re-imagine ‘how we do Church’. We are going to be available and sensitive to what help is needed. We will look to how we can strengthen connections and provide support for each other in our faith and in practical needs over this time, for what might be quite an extended period.
Through the network of our friendships and small groups, can we encourage us all to look out for one another and keep supporting those in isolation or who might be affected in any way. And please, let us be good at asking for help ourselves. We might not find this easy, but we need to know there is permission to do so in these times!!
If there are any situations you become aware of that as a church you think we could raise help for, please let us know.
Thirdly, we want to pause and think about our wider communities Think widely around initiatives in our own streets to look out for the vulnerable, help with shopping, dog walking etc for those who are isolating. As a church, we will be looking at how we can play a meaningful role in serving the community at this time. If you are aware of any needs or think of ideas or opportunities you see we could respond to as a church, please share those ideas and let us know. These are times of great opportunity to demonstrate God’s love, care and kindness. We are ready.
What is this going to mean for our Church meetings, events and 83a?
We need to follow government advice and cancel most of our meetings until conditions change. We will need to move ‘on-line’. Small face-to-face meetings can still take place and 83a will still be partially open but the key message is that IF YOU SHOW ANY OF THE SYMPTOMS associated with coronavirus, you must self-isolate for 14 days. If you do spend time with others follow the guidelines that have been issued.
So, with immediate effect, and until the situation changes:
- Sunday morning meetings at Cromwell will cease
- Small groups will stop meeting
- Youth activities will cease
- Worship team, monthly prayer, Toddler group, Alpha and Creative English will cease
- The following events will not run: Palm Sunday Cafe (5th April), the Small Group ‘Growing Together’ evening, the Wider Leadership Team Meeting and the International Food Night.
We are looking at making use of on-line resources to continue to connect together, support and encourage each other in our faith. We are considering, and beginning to plan for:
- an on-line Sunday ‘experience’ involving video, participation and teaching
- meeting with appropriate safeguards for walks in the park and prayer walks
- setting Room 2 aside for prayer with sign-ups
- prayer forums, on-line Bible teaching
- making wider use of our website, Facebook pages and other on-line IT resources
Our town premises ’83a’ will be open for some users, and the office will be manned part-time. Should you come to the office, please note the safeguards in the paragraph above.
On the pastoral front, we will be doing our very best to ensure that everyone has someone looking out for them. For those in small groups this will be their point of support. For those not in small groups we will look to provide a support network.
The staff team will generally be working from home but are still contactable. Their numbers and email addresses are as follows:
- Tim 07812 170505 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Trevor 07713 458358 email@example.com
- Jean 07717 072906 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Richard 07500 594901 email@example.com
Please also use the office landline 01480 411665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with us via Facebook or WhatsApp at any time.
We will continue to keep you updated with news and information as things progress. Please, above anything, let’s stay in touch, keep connecting and remain in prayer.
With heartfelt blessings
Tim, Trevor, Jean and Richard