33rd Letter to our Church Members

Letter 33

My Dear Friends and Members of Sion Baptist Church,

I want to take this opportunity to send each and every one of you, your family and your friends, our love, thanks and prayers. This is such a difficult time. That obvious statement being said, the church leaders and I still have to meet together and we do this, as many other organisations are currently doing, using a virtual platform. The deacons and I are meeting fortnightly on a Thursday evening. 


Though “church” has changed beyond all recognition over the past year, we still have church business to do. John, our Treasurer still has to collect funds and manage our finances as well as deal with leaks and antiquated heating systems. Bills have to be paid. An old building still has to be maintained and rendered safe for when we do return. Ann, our Church Secretary, still has to sift through the mountain of information that comes her way from the Baptist Union and decide what is relevant and should be shared with us.


I am grateful to all the deacons for the practical and prayerful service they offer to us. Please make the most of them by staying in touch regularly. Please pray for your leaders. I want to quote from the minutes of our last deacons meeting:


In order for churches to conduct electronic meetings during the pandemic, the Baptist Union has provided template clauses for the constitution document. Individual churches can decide whether or not to include these clauses (in our new Governing Document) which have yet to be ratified by the Charity Commission. The deacons expressed their views, recognising that electronic meetings will be a future reality. It was agreed that we continue to inform the church as and when critical decisions are made and these could be ratified when the church can be together physically.


On your behalf, we decided NOT to attempt any electronic business meetings because these would be too difficult to organise (technically) and because we were concerned that some of Sion’s “unconnected” members would be excluded from important decisions. Our 2021 AGM should be held in April and will be postponed until a physical meeting is possible. Deacons elections form part of this meeting. It was proposed and agreed that the three deacons due to stand down - John, Jen and Ann Alden - will remain in post until a physical meeting of the fellowship is allowed to take place. This is unorthodox, of course, but these are unorthodox times.


Please feel free to contact Ann or myself (or share with your “pastoral deacon”) ANY concerns, issues or questions you might like the leaders to discuss at our deacon’s meeting.Our next meeting February 11th 2021.


Finally, I would remind you all (again) that we are having a weekly zoom prayer meeting and a weekly zoom bible study. It would be nice if you could join us if possible. Please contact Carol Acton for details.


Every Blessing! Mark Faris-Robertson, 04/02/2021

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