• Coming back to the heart of worship

    By Andy O'Connell

    One of the things we've seen in lockdown is that good relationships withstand separation.

    You might have been unable to visit an elderly relative as they struggled to cope with isolation, or missed a good friend that you've longed to spend unhurried time with? Or perhaps you are one half of a love-struck dating couple that have not been able to see each other for ages!?

    Withdrawal of 'visiting privileges' has been one of the human costs of tackling this virus, and as restrictions eases in the UK, we're rushing to reconnect with relatives, friends and 'significant others'.

    Andy O'Connell
  • Change is coming - pay close attention to God

    By Steve Jones

    Last Sunday, a flurry of four prophetic messages were shared.

     

    For anyone unfamiliar with ‘prophetic messages’: The Bible describes them as God's gift to us. We expect – and enjoy – the fact that God communicated with people, so that they can then speak his message to us. Such words really help us. They encourage us and build us up – and sometimes disturb us!

    How do we know it’s God’s message for us? We ask:

    Steve Jones
  • Worship in lockdown

    By Chris Fulton

    Coronavirus has forced us to change a great number of things, one of which is the way that we worship together as a church. So many of the things we so easily took for granted are no longer in place for us - for now, we don’t meet in a building, or worship in the same place. We can’t see each other’s faces, or catch up over coffee in a busy throng of expectation before we come together to sing and praise. We lose out on depths of relational and non-verbal communication within our church family; we lack hands-on prayer ministry during times of response… the list goes on.

    Chris Fulton
  • Let's talk about race

    By Sanjay Mahtani

    “It is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.” – Angela Davis

    “Racism isn’t getting worse; it’s getting filmed.” – Will Smith

    George Floyd was a black man who was killed by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, in Minneapolis on Monday 26 May, 2020. He pleaded for his life several times, saying “I can’t breathe”, and since his death, riots have ensued in Minneapolis and beyond - calling for justice and bringing race-based injustice to the fore.

    Sanjay Mahtani
  • Love your neighbour - providing help in the current pandemic

    By Sanjay Mahtani

    This page will be updated as advice changes. Last updated 1 May 2020.

     

    All of us are keen to follow the teaching of Jesus to love our neighbour. But how do we do that in the current pandemic, in a way that is loving and caring, and doesn't harm our neighbour, ourselves, or the wider community? 

    In this, OCC is not an expert! Our headline is to FOLLOW GOVERNMENT ADVICE - in what follows we're going to highlight government advice, and give you the links so you can dig deeper as you need. 

     

    Sanjay Mahtani
  • Wellbeing during isolation

    By Steve Jones

    We are now over a month into lockdown and it’s testing us all. Some extroverts may now be wishing for some personal space, whilst introverts are starting to feel the need to party!

    Clearly, whatever your circumstances, it is increasingly hard to be confined to home, even to the point of adversely affecting your wellbeing – or even your mental health.

    There’s an ocean of advice being posted online about this. Some of it’s really good, but it can be hard to find amidst the noise.

    Steve Jones
  • Stop, slow down, and seek me (a reflection from Journey to the Cross prayer week)

    By The Prayer Week team

    Earlier today the elders reviewed and weighed the various prophetic and other contributions from the week of prayer. They said: "First of all, thank you for taking part! Secondly, as we've reviewed what came out, we see that God is reminding us to focus on him in this season. We note that our prophets, who often hear God with direction for the church, are not now hearing something about change, or a fresh focus - but simply that this is a season when God wants to draw us close!"

    The Prayer Week team
  • God wants our attention

    By Bev Jones

    In a 24-7 prayer week slot with my Community (group), we were listening to God and in the silence I could hear our old wind-up clock ticking, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…

    I remembered how the people of the whole world are always thinking about what is next, what is coming, what we will do, where we will go, where we will travel, what work we will do next, so on and so forth, endlessly.

    Through this pandemic, I think God wants to put his finger on the mechanism of that clock, and stop it. Stop us, stop our constant action, and make us still. Then we asked what is next?!

    Bev Jones
  • Pursuing God - thriving not surviving (April to June 2020)

    By The Elders

    In our Streamed Sundays after Easter we're going to look together at the letter to Philippians. (Having got into the flow of streaming, we're also going to try a few new things, so watch out for those!)

    As well as Sunday preaching, we plan to make resources available to support individuals, Communities and other groups to follow up on the teaching we will find in the letter.

    The Elders