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Viewpoint from Claire Hamilton-Deane 18/03/2022

Member of Park Baptist Church

The last couple of years have been a challenge for the Church in more ways than one!  Many have had to get to grips with new technology and come up with inventive ways of communicating the Gospel to a community in desperate need of its Good News
During the lockdowns, I for one, enjoyed Sundays watching a varied pick and mix selection of Church services online curled up on the sofa in my pyjamas drinking coffee.  Such services have been ideal for many people, who during this season have begun questioning what life is all about and seeking to know more about who Jesus Christ is, and the claims made about Him in the Bible 
dove leftNow, post lockdown, as things return to ‘normal’ how will we respond?  Are people willing to get off the sofa and go back to, or even join for the first time, an in person service?  The particularly vulnerable may well choose to continue to do Church in this way but what about those in relatively good health?
Along with many other verses, Hebrews 10:25 serves as a reminder that online services are not a long term substitute for getting together physically:  "And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near"
It’s important to remember we are members of the body of Christ, with each of us having a part to play in maintaining the health of that body.  We were created for community and relationship.  Essentially, in the immortal words of the 70’s pop group Sister Sledge ‘We Are Family’, and family encourage one another, rejoice together and share one another’s’ burdens.  We basically ‘do life’ together.   I’ve heard it said that Churches are hospitals where hurting people find healing which I believe to be true, but I also want to suggest that Churches are places where we should be able to be our true selves, not having to pretend we have it all together, where we can admit our weaknesses and find acceptance, love, and support without judgement
Whilst sitting on the sofa on a Sunday taking it easy watching services was, for a season, the right thing to do, I believe it’s now time to set the alarm, get back to  Church and get immersed back into family life!

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