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The Trumpets are Sounding! | Thursday 02 April
In times of national crisis, it’s so critical that we take a step back and ask, “God, what are you saying in this season?” This simple question can transform our perspective from being scared reactionaries to bold believers. This is a moment to steer our lives by His words and prophetic promises.
So what is God saying? Well, happily, God has not been silent! A number of crucial themes have been prophesied in the past 3 months and here is a short summary of a few of these prophetic highlights so that we as a church can respond in faith at this time.
God's Sovereignty: One church member prophesied in February about this being a season of revelation of God's sovereignty, like a sunrise on the horizon and that this revelation would be borne out of ‘difficulties, troubles and hardships.’ From this would emerge new and powerful hope, where Christians would bring peace to war-torn and broken societies and bring God's love. Remember, God is on the throne. You can be hopeful because God is in charge.
Slow Cooking: Someone else prophesied that God is slow-cooking us in this season, to release the full goodness and nutrition that He has placed inside of us. This means slower and longer times in God's presence, in prayer, listening to His voice. Already, in our social distancing, God is creating more time and space for us to get the basics right. Use this season to seek His face.
2020/21: Another of our prophets shared in January of this year, that 2020 would be marked by plague and pestilence, but that in the darkness the Church would shine brighter than ever before. This would subsequently lead to 2021 being a year of incredible signs and wonders and that walls would be transformed into doors of opportunity. He prophesied that we were not to be afraid of the ‘roughness’ of this year, but that it was part of the journey that would lead to great breakthroughs. Remember, God has a plan! In the darkness, Christians shine the brightest!
Church Upgrade: Yet another prophet spoke of this being a time of upgrade for the Kings Arms, a little like a new software update to your computer or phone. God is installing some new ways of working, whether that is around security updates (pastoral care), improved user interface (how unchurched friends interact with us) , new menu layouts (structural changes) or giving unlimited cloud storage (24hour support). Who knew, when this was prophesied at the turn of the year, that all of these things would so soon be happening for a church that now meets in an online world! For example, we have a round the clock pastoral hotline, a new way of meeting on sundays and new ways of connecting in community. Be comforted that God told us this would happen before it did! Its part of his upgrade programme, so we emerge stronger on the other side.
Trumpets Sounding: And lastly, yet another prophesied that there was the sounding of trumpets in the heavenly places. In Numbers 10:9, silver trumpets were blown to signal the setting out to war and to celebrate the victory of God. She prophesied that we are being sent, as a Church, into a new time of warfare, but that we were to go with a sense of victory and celebration, knowing God has appointed us for such a time as this. In particular, European and North American nations would be freshly touched by the power of God at this moment.
Friends, God has a plan. He has not been silent. Can I encourage you to listen to His voice in this season and steer the course of your heart by the sound of heavens trumpets! I love our Church and the best is yet to come. Stay safe. Save lives. Seek breakthrough.
King's Arms Church Update | Thursday 26 March
We wanted to send you a little round up of some of the things going on to keep you fully informed of King’s Arms developments.
What’s happening with Sundays?
We were so pleased to see hundreds of people connect with our first ever online services last week, though for this Sunday we’re making some changes. Firstly, we’re experimenting with having the contributors, like host, worship leader and preacher share from their own homes! (Let’s hope people remember to tidy away those dirty socks!) but most importantly, we’re also adjusting the number of meetings we have.
As of this Sunday we will have a 9.30am, 11.30am and 8pm meeting. The main reason we decided to change was to increase the amount of time that we can welcome visitors, connect with people interactively and have prayer ministry with our team of online hosts. We’re even working toward having a ‘virtual lounge’ where people can hang out afterwards! Watch this space.
You will hopefully have received the news via text this week that we now have a King’s Arms ‘Helpline’. Staffed by the pastoral team 7 days a week. Just call 01234 924008 or email email@example.com if you have a practical need. For example if you have had to self isolate and can't get essential supplies of food or need a prescription picking up. We'll do our best to help. Equally you might have a fully-stocked fridge but would just like to have a chat with someone, especially if you're finding things tough. We'd be happy to talk and pray for you over the phone.
Want to get involved?
Some of you have wonderfully stepped forward to play a part in supporting others at this time. Perhaps you feel like you would like to volunteer in some capacity. This might be delivering groceries, helping the King’s Arms Project (our work with the homeless and refugees) or phoning people who would like to connect with someone. If so please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org as we're putting together a database of volunteers.
What about prayer?
In this season we know that prayer is one of the things we want to lean into, and we’re working hard at creating opportunities where we can pray together in creative ways. You can visit kingsarms.org/thirst to get details of two new zoom prayer meetings happening each week 6.30-7am Monday’s and 7.30-8pm Friday’s. There are also prayer devotionals being released every day that you can sign up for at kingsarms.org/dailydevotion
I’m glad you asked! We’re exploring how we can get many of the groups we run continuing in people’s homes by means of the latest technology and we also have a number of new groups starting! These online gatherings will be for anyone but have themes for you to choose which best suit you. This time, to increase your opportunity for connection many will run as a drop-in with no need to sign up in advance. Details of times and types of groups will be coming out soon.
How do I stay in touch and what about families?
Without our ability to see you in person each week we’ve massively increased the amount of communication we’ve been doing through our social media channels, but don’t worry if you have missed anything. You can catch up at kingsarms.org/covid and kingsarms.org/communityupdates
King's Arms Church Update | Friday 20 March
King's House Update | Monday 16 March
King's Arms Church COVID-19 Update | Friday 13 March
Like many of us, we’ve been closely tracking the news of the coronavirus both locally and globally. As you’re likely aware, there are numerous confirmed cases in the UK now and we want to communicate how we are responding as a community.
What we can see around the world is two extremes of response. On one hand, chronic fear and anxiety. That shouldn’t be our response - the bible is clear God has given us a spirit of love not fear. We need to rely on God as our strength and our rock and we will not give in to fear. On the other hand, we are not naive to the situation. People are afraid, some are becoming seriously ill and sadly some are dying. It is understandable that there is concern particularly for those groups most vulnerable to the virus. We need to seek God’s continually available wisdom as we move forward.
No one knows for sure what the next few weeks and months will bring but the Bible says we are to clothe ourselves with compassion and to watch and pray and this is a time for both these things as we offer hope and faith to those around us. This is actually a potentially very important moment for us as a church as we, with wisdom, courage and generosity, seek to care for those around us. The helpful advice that came out recently from the Pastors of Singapore who have been facing this for over a month now is that fear often masquerades as wisdom and we need to guard against that whilst not rejecting wisdom!
Love, not fear, is the reason we are changing our behaviour.
To paraphrase Andy Crouch ‘The reason to alter our practices, especially the way we gather, is not self-protection. The change is needed because our vulnerable neighbors — those of any age with compromised immune systems, and those over 70 years old — are at significant risk. One of the basics of the Christian life is that the “strong” must consider the “weak” (see Rom. 15). We are making these choices not to minimise our own risk, but to protect others from risk.’
Let’s be contacting, loving and caring for those in our church family and wider community who are in the most vulnerable groups affected by this virus.
We are postponing our Sunday gatherings this Sunday at both our King’s House and University locations. We will update you next week regarding the plan for future Sundays.
We wrestled long and hard over this decision and in fact my (Simon’s) mind changed over a 24 hour period. However while the government have not yet given this advice to churches we felt that understanding our large and varied demographic, the way we interact on a Sunday with warmth and a lot of contact (which let’s be honest is hard for us to change), the size of the university venue and the large number of vulnerable people who are part of us (either through age, underlying immune, respiratory conditions or contact with family members who have) we felt that it was the wisest course of action.
We are purchasing live-streaming technology for our Sunday gatherings should it become necessary for us on an ongoing basis but for this Sunday we hope to have a prerecorded message available for you to use in homes. We’d encourage family and community groups to gather and we will provide further advice on this once we make a decision about Sunday’s on an ongoing basis.
So much of the life of our community is in our mid-week groups. That’s where real community happens. Many of our groups will continue to meet as the leaders feel led and able and particularly monitoring those groups connecting with the most vulnerable people. Like Sundays this will be a continually monitored situation.
While we are meeting we recognise that we need to make some practical changes
- We would advise people to consider reducing physical contact (hugging, handshakes, etc) outside of family groups.
- We encourage groups to take extra care around refreshments and communion.
- We’d encourage the use of anti bacterial wipes to help keep door handles and other surfaces virus free.
We want to do our best to help prevent the spread of the virus whilst being faith-filled, particularly for the sake of those who are most vulnerable to this virus in our community.
Travellers returning from high risk areas should self-isolate for 2 weeks upon return. An up to date list of these areas can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/advice-for-travellers/
We have made a decision within the King’s Arms that all international staff ministry trips will temporarily cease until at least the end of March. It’s a tough decision to make as we love serving other communities around the world. But we felt it is the right decision for now, not just to protect the individuals who would be travelling but also to avoid inadvertently spreading the virus to others or causing unnecessary strain on the rest of the team through enforced self-isolation potentially required on return. We will be continually reviewing and updating this.
We will communicate as quickly as possible any information about new precautionary measures. This will take place via email, website and social media.
We’d encourage you to be following the UK government's advice informing us all to:
- Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds and when possible following with an antibacterial hand rub. Catch all coughs and sneezes in tissues and then throw away and wash hands and where possible, try not to touch your face
- Anyone suffering from flu-like symptoms (a temperature of over 37.8C or a cough) should self-isolate for 7 days. If symptoms become extreme, call NHS 111 or visit nhs.uk/coronavirus.
- If you are diagnosed with a confirmed case of Covid-19 please inform the church immediately by emailing email@example.com.
The main way we look to care for one another is through our GroupLife system. Should you require additional support please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help you.
Of course as things develop we want to be good news to the communities around us. Let’s be prayerfully looking for opportunities to serve neighbours in as many ways as possible.
As usual, the Psalms offer timeless wisdom in troubled times.
God Is Our Fortress
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
Let’s be praying together for this to be our reality and confidence as we face these upcoming months.
With much love,
Simon & Steve, on behalf of the King’s Arms Leadership