A Message to FIEC Churches During the Coronavirus Crisis
A message from FIEC's National Director to all FIEC churches during the coronavirus crisis.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As the coronavirus crisis deepens, and ever-tighter restrictions are imposed in an effort to save lives, I want to reassure you that the FIEC staff are fully aware of the pressures and challenges that you face. We are ourselves members of local churches in local communities, and appreciate that you have to find new ways of ministering the gospel.
These difficult times bring both challenges and opportunities. We need to have confidence that the risen and reigning Lord Jesus is able to meet all our needs, and that he is the only one who can ultimately save people, not just from untimely death from this disease, but from eternal death and for glorious eternal life.
FIEC is utterly committed to the centrality of the local church to the mission of God, and we know that you are on the front line of ministry in this crisis. It is our task to help you to be “independent churches working together to reach Britain for Christ.” Though we are unable to serve you in the exact ways we had planned (for example, we have cancelled many of our events and conferences in the coming months) we want you to know that we are still here to help you in whatever way we can during these different days.
First and foremost we are, as a staff team, praying for you and your churches, that the Lord would strengthen and sustain you through every difficulty, and enable you to make the most of every new opportunity to serve others and share the good news and reason for our hope. We are very encouraged that so many churches have been able to continue their ministries through live streaming or video conferencing. We will endeavour to provide accurate and up to date advice for churches on our website and share examples of best practice from our churches around the country so that we can learn from each other.
We have instructed our website designers to create a facility where churches can post their prayer requests directly onto the site. We hope this will be up and running just after Easter so that the wider fellowship can be praying for one another.
The newer restrictions imposed this week mean that we have closed the FIEC office for the time being, but we will still be available to you by phone and email. If you need urgent advice, pastoral support or just a listening ear as you lead your church through this time, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as we can. You can contact the FIEC staff for help by ringing the office on 01858 434540 or by email. The FIEC staff will be on holiday over the Easter period (Monday 6 April to Tuesday 14 April) but you can still call us on that number if it is an emergency.
Given the seriousness of the situation facing our country, and the need to ensure that vulnerable people are protected and the NHS is able to provide care for all, we would urge all our churches to maintain a good witness by submitting joyfully and gladly to the measures that are being introduced by our government. We know that these measures may cause distress and pain for many, but they are essential to bringing this crisis to as swift an end as is possible.
Our longing is that FIEC will become a true fellowship of churches where we support each other and partner together to bring the gospel to our nation. There are wonderful stories emerging around the country of FIEC churches in towns, cities and regions supporting one another in prayer at this time, and of pastors connecting to encourage each other to persevere in their ministry. I would urge every FIEC church to reach out to other FIEC churches - and indeed to other local gospel churches near you - to build new bonds of mutual love that will last long after the Coronavirus crisis has passed.
So please be assured of our ongoing love and prayers for you. Whilst we may not be able to understand how, we can rest confident in the knowledge that our sovereign God is in complete control and working all things out for good in these days.
With every blessing,