2nd September 2020
Sunshine Toddler news September 2020
Over the last weeks we have been researching and thinking about how and when we could start up the groups again – the guidance is not that clear for groups such as ours. We are aware that some private toddler activities are beginning to open, however, we want to clarify our plans for the future and let you know how we have come to the decisions we have made. Whilst we are keen to get the groups open again we have to be sure it is the right thing to do.
The Early Years Alliance states parent and toddler groups can reopen, however it is clear that currently they MUST ensure families socially distance from others. At Sunshine Toddlers children are free to move around the rooms and activities, as are the adults, and the last thing we want to do is put more stress and pressure on parents by asking them to keep little ones socially distanced, added to this, guidance states masks must be worn, no sharing of toys, no soft toys, no singing and lots of other legislation. Sadly, for the time being Sunshine Toddler Groups will remain closed – as soon as guidance changes and we can safely meet we will let you know. In the mean time do use our Facebook page to share ideas of activities or thoughts about surviving this time.
However, we have been looking into opening a Baby group for parents and non-mobile babies as we have checked this is allowed and we can offer this safely once risk assessments and a booking system are in place. Please email email@example.com if you, or someone you know is interested in joining so we can send them full information.
Please note it is strictly for non mobile babies and their parents. We are also considering setting up a Covid safe toy library if families are interested in this. Again, please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you would be interested in this to let us know if it would be used. We miss you and your little ones and do hope that you are managing with all the things that this time is throwing at us. We are particularly thinking about those of you who have children starting school for the first time this week. We pray it all goes well and that there are lots of happy smiles as children and families settle into new routines.
Do get in touch if we can help in any way or just to let us know how you are doing either on the Facebook page or via email.
Love from the Sunshine Toddler Group Teams
1st September 2020
Re-commencement of Sunday worship at Sudbury Baptist Church
It’s with great anticipation that we are able to announce that from this coming Sunday, the 6th September, we will be opening our building again for gathered worship at 10:30am. It has been over 20 weeks since we have gathered together as a church family. Some have welcomed the slower pace of life in recent months and the opportunity to explore services online while many of us have deeply felt the loss of gathering in person.
Our weekly gathering, for the moment, is going to look different taking into account continuing restrictions placed upon us, with only a limited number of us able to meet physically each week. However, over the course of a few weeks, all that wish to start gathering again will be given the chance.
On a profound level a smaller number of people gathering physically in worship will represent the wider church family from week to week, bringing life and strength to us all. We must remember that this is the next step towards us all being able to meet freely together again and not a ‘new-normal’. We look forward to the day when we gather for worship as we used to.
Because the great majority of our church family still won’t be gathering in the church building week by week, weekly worship with the same sermon, will still be available on youtube each week as it has been throughout lock-down.
Below is a bulleted list explaining what to expect on your return to church:
• Before Sunday (preferably the Friday before) please tell Emma Oddie, our administrator, if you plan to attend the service that week. She will take your name(s) and a telephone number for track and trace purposes. Please try to remember that we can only fit in a limited number of people in each week, so if you have been one week please allow space and opportunity for others the next. If there is no space that week, Emma will kindly ask you to wait until the following week.
• You can get in touch with Emma by e-mail at email@example.com
• Seating will be two meters apart but households or ‘bubbles’ will of course be able to sit together.
• Please enter the building through the side (lounge) entrance where a deacon will greet you and check off your name(s).
• Please wear a face covering and sanitise your hands. Sanitiser is available at the entrance. Spare masks are also available, but please try to bring your own face covering if you can. We ask that everyone in the building wears a mask at all times however children under 11 don’t need to wear a face covering if that cannot manage it.
• A deacon will show you where to sit.
• Please use the one way system around the church building. This is clearly signposted.
• If you need to use the toilet please try to make sure you don’t go into the block of toilets with someone else. Please try to keep the numbers to one at a time.
• Please ensure an adult accompanies children under 11 to the toilet to help with hand washing and social distancing.
• Our time of worship together will last around an hour and usually include a sermon, led prayers and devotions.
• After our time of worship, sadly, there will be no refreshments. Please avoid congregating within the church building or outside the building.
Please try not to come with any sense of anxiety or pressure. It will be wonderful to see you, to encourage you and to meet together in God’s wonderful presence!
We are here for one another and ready, in faith, to take the next step forward.
Note: A copy of the Risk Assessment and Procedures for Sunday gatherings will be on the polices section of the website.
At this time we are also preparing to slowly open some mid-week gatherings which will likely begin with Renew Wellbeing and a small baby and parent group, keep an eye out on here and Facebook for updates.
17th March 2020
As you are in no doubt aware, the national response to the outbreak of Coronavirus, Covid 19 has and will change our daily lives considerably for the time being.
After much deliberation yesterday, and conversations with other church leaders and church networks, and finally, after hearing from the health secretary and then consequently from the Baptist Union on the best possible course action this morning, I am writing to tell you that as of today we are suspending all meetings at Sudbury Baptist Church. This means all mid-week groups, and sadly Sunday morning worship. We also need to ask that all house groups to be suspended at this time as well in line with the government advice.
This will most certainly be until Easter, but I am hoping that before then we will receive more guidance about any further restrictions and closure measures. I and the deacons will do our best to keep you updated.
Over the last few days myself and the deacons have been thinking how best we can encourage us all to stay unified and also make sure we are practically loving those amongst us who might need some extra help.
This is where pastoral lists and directories come in real handy! Thanks to many people who volunteered last Sunday, by filling in a response card, I believe we have enough people to make sure everyone is checked on, asked if they need anything, and encouraged by a phone call or even a visit if appropriate. I want to personally assure you that we’re doing our best to make sure no-one is forgotten.
A different way to be church for a season
I believe that this very challenging and unprecedented season offers us some unique opportunities and blessings. For one, as Christians this is where our discipleship is really proven. We continue to follow Jesus, trusting in Him, giving our days over to Him and living for His glory.
We may not be able to meet physically together, but we have a great chance to be much more intentional about keeping in touch. Calling, emailing, messaging and even writing a letter to each other brings great comfort and support.
For those of us who find that we have extra time on our hands, we can ‘redeem the time’ by praying. Use the directory or make a list of everyone you know at SBC and pray each day. Spend quality time with God offering each other up in prayer.
Furthermore, this might well be a time where God is calling each of us to slow down, become more centred in him and less busy. Many of us will find this hard, especially if we find a fast paced life comforting, but it may be something God wants to nurture within us.
Ways to stay in connected
Each Sunday morning I will be sharing God’s Word as usual, but for now this will be done online on a newly set-up Youtube channel. You can also find the Sudbury Baptist Church YouTube channel here.
http://bit.ly/sbc_stream please subscribe and click on the bell to receive notifications when more content is uploaded.
I will also be trying to put some mid-week content out as well, as a way of staying connected and in touch. And for those of us who don’t use computers I will endeavour to post a paper copy of my sermon through your door each week.
Also, if you haven’t done already, please sign up to SBC Community News. Please visit http://bit.ly/sbcsudbury to subscribe online.
Again, each time a Community News is issued I will endeavour to post a copy to those of us who don’t use a computer.
All that is left to say today is remember who is in charge! Cling to God, the only one in whom we can trust. In that sense nothing has changed. Instead of worrying, pray and be thankful, His peace will guard your hearts and minds.
Rev. Mark Ulanowski