Update – Saturday 21st November 2020
Back online (again)
The Northern Ireland Executive has announced that Places of Worship must close for two weeks from Friday 27th November.
These latest restrictions will mean church moving back online for Sunday 29th November and Sunday 6th December 2020.
Whilst we are very disappointed to be unable to meet in person we believe it won’t be long until we are back to in-person service again.
Update – Tuesday 30th June 2020
Last week the Northern Ireland Executive announced that Places of Worship could reopen again for public worship services from Monday 29th June, effectively Sunday 5th July.
We have been talking to other church leaders including CCI and Owen Crane from CFC Belfast and I attended a zoom meeting last Thursday hosted by the Evangelical Alliance NI, attended by 70 ministers and pastors, where Peter Lynas and David Smyth briefed us on the content and guidance from the NI Executive.
These discussions have been helpful to understand best practice and the right way forward.
So here’s a few points to help you understand our current thinking with regards to holding corporate worship services again:
1. While we can now open our buildings, the guidelines still remain in place regarding:
- Social distancing – still recommended at 2m
- Capacity – how many people?
- Face masks
- Toilets, cleaning, sanitation etc
- Children, Youth, Vulnerable people
- Movement within the building i.e. one way system
- Time in the building – number of services
The care and safety of our church family and any visitors is of paramount importance as we consider meeting again.
To this end, the Pastors, Lead Team and Directors have already started to look at how we can start to bring people back to worship together and risk assessments are currently being drawn up.
2. At this point we are not going to rush back, but we believe the wise approach at this time is to do a phased return as follows:
- Continue with online Sunday services throughout July
- We have started a conversation about initially gathering in August and then picking it up in September.
- All moves are dependant on Government guidelines and the evolving situation
- We value your thoughts, and therefore we will be sending out a survey in the next week to help us gauge opinion and move forward.
- We will keep you updated as things progress.
3. Finally, the virus may have closed our doors but the church is very much alive and well and extending it’s reach in this season.
We are very much looking forward to when we can all physically meet again soon. But in the meantime, let’s keep our hearts right before God, seek His presence and have an expectation that God will continue to move in and through us in these days. And let’s continue to look out for, and love each other, as we love and honour God.
Please continue to pray for the Pastors, Lead Team and Directors, that God will give them wisdom to make right decisions in this season.
If anyone has any questions, please contact any of us or email firstname.lastname@example.org
May we all continue to walk in the favour, blessing and protection of our God.
Paul & Helen Cupples – Lead Pastors
Update – Wednesday 18th March 2020
The Pastors and Leadership of Grace Generation have been closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and following advice from the UK Government and the Public Health Agency. Our primary concern in this moment is the safety of everyone who calls Grace Generation home.
Please watch the video below from Lead Pastors Paul & Helen were they explain how we will proceed and continue to flourish in this unusual season. Below the video, you will find a summary of points concerning services, events and how to get regular updates updates throughout this time.
You’ll appreciate the situation and advice is changing all the time and therefore our plans may alter as the weeks advance. For now, however, the following points outline how we are going to move forward at this time..
- ALL events and activities have ceased until the Government guidlines changes.
- We are working hard to create online content for our adults, youth, and kids.
- Our Sunday Services will be moving online, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
Information last updated:
19:00 on Tuesday 17th March 2020.
The Pastors and Leadership of Grace Generation have been closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and following advice from the Public Health Agency. We are taking all appropriate steps to ensure we keep our congregation, staff and event attendees as safe as possible. Here’s our response and how everyone can help…
- We are dedicated to offering a clean and safe environment.
- Our facilities are cleaned regularly.
- We will have paper tissues freely available with bins nearby to dispose of any used material. These bins will be changed after every service.
- We have hand sanitising gel dispensers available for use at various locations around our buildings.
- We plan to continue our weekly services but are monitoring the situation and following recommendations from state and local government agencies.
These are some of the steps we are now taking more widely to help prevent the spread of infection:
- Stay at home if you have a new continuous cough or high temperature and self-isolate for 7 days in line with Government (12/3/20).
- Avoid close contact with people who are feeling unwell.
- We love fellowship but we will partake in a new ‘greeting culture’ that suspends hand-shaking and hugging for the time being.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing and/or sneezing. Place the used tissue in the bins provided. Wash your hands.
- Please cough and/or sneeze into your forearm if you do not have a tissue or do not have time to get to it.
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds at a time. Use the soap and water in the bathrooms.
- You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with 60%-95% alcohol.
Whilst we believe in the seriousness of the threat posed by COVID-19 and strongly encourage everyone to follow the guidelines issued by our government and NHS we do not believe God has called His children to live in fear. With that in mind here is some encouragement from Scripture…
Psalm 91:5-7: You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
Psalm 91:10-11: No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
Luke 12:25-26: Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 16:33: I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
The news around the Coronavirus is changing rapidly and we encourage everyone to follow the information provided on the Public Health Agency website.
From a Grace Generation perspective, we will post further updates as and when information is available. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming you all to church this Sunday.
49-51 Church Street, Banbridge, BT32 4AA, Northern Ireland