Bringing Healing, Wholeness and Freedom 

Everything need to know for our gathering together in person on Sundays


Overflow Church logo   Bringing Healing, Wholeness and Freedom 

Hi Everyone, I’m really excited that we get to meet in person starting this week at the Winsford Academy!  As you will all be aware the legal restrictions for mask wearing and social distancing have been lifted however the Government has instead set out guidelines to follow to help keep everyone safe and as we all know covid-19 rates are still quite high in Cheshire.  Unfortunately, life won’t be fully back to normal yet so we will still need to put some measures in place for meeting inside especially as we are singing. 

Our heart as a church is that we want to be a place where we can worship and encounter God freely, we also believe it's important to create an environment where everyone feels safe especially those with underlying health conditions.  
As a church even though we are smallish in numbers we obviously have a diverse range of opinions and views when it comes to what is the right thing to do regarding covid-19 and the way forward and so working out the right balance is not going to be easy.  We want to get that balance of being wise but also not moving in fear.  So what are the key things to help us?

Romans 12:10

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honour,

As we meet together we have a huge opportunity to make each other feel loved, safe and honoured.  This can be by simply wearing a mask, not hugging people (even though we all want to) or keeping our distance when talking.   We would all love to hug each other, throw away our face masks once and for all, but unfortunately as things currently stand with Covid-19 this would put some people at higher risk of catching it.  So as we gather in person on Sunday’s we have a great opportunity to put Romans 12:10 into practice and also the following

John 13:35
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Let’s love each other well, so that the world may know that we are his disciples.
So what measures are we putting in place?

  • I know we are all keen to meet together regularly again however please can you follow the government guidance on self isolation after symptoms and/or positive test/contact tracing/returning from foreign travel. (Click here for reminder of covid-19 symptoms and Government advice on self isolating).
  • Please book as this will make setting up the room easier for us and also help with contact tracing if someone did have covid-19.  If you forget to book no worries still turn up.
  • We will make sure doors handles and surfaces etc are clean before we arrive.
  • Ask people to use sanitiser on entrance and exit.
  • Please wear masks when not at your seat.  This includes any walking and before and after the meeting.
  • Seating will be socially distanced. 
  • Please bring your own refreshments and not share them with others  (we will bring some bottled water for visitors and those that forget).
  • Please bring your own communion.
  • Please be sensitive to those who aren't hugging and ask first. 

And finally I know lots of people are already doing this but if we all regularly take lateral flow tests that will help.

As leaders we will review everything about our first meeting on Sunday and see what changes we need to make.

Now you may have done enough reading, but if you are happy to read a little more below is some of my personal experience with Coeliac disease and these experiences have shaped the guidelines we are putting in place for Sundays regarding the balance of the need to keep safe  trusting God and trying to put that into practice which isn't always easy.  

  1. I trust God with my health but still put protective measures in place to not eat gluten, such as  if you touch gluten in our house you wash your hands before touching anything else.
  2. Some of the proactive measures do restrict and mean that the rest of my family and friends miss out at times e.g. we are very restricted to what restaurants we eat at this isn’t us being selfish its just the unfortunate part of where we are in life right now.
  3. Many people go the extra the extra mile for us like washing down all utensils they use and clean their kitchen so they can cook for us.  This is a huge inconvenience for them but hugely expresses their love for me and Josh.
  4. At first my balance of taking precautions was wrong as fear got in. It's such a hard tension, that knowing just more than 20 parts per million of gluten is enough to do damage to my intestines again, and the fact my recovery so was slow to not allow fear to twist things and to become controlling and fearful watching every move someone makes in the kitchen, not allowing anyone to prep food without me watching.  If something did go wrong I would get very stressed losing my peace and not cope, becoming angry and reactional.  All this I have had to process to come to place of trusting God and getting the balance of still being safe. 
  5. Its hard to be in a place where we have to keep saying no to things in order to protect ourselves
  6. Questioning why am I different? Josh regularly struggles with this, and gets to point where he is fed up of being asked why he is eating different toast in school.

Even if we don't feel that we need protecting ourselves there are people who have underlying conditions can feel so many of the things that Josh and I can relate to, so let' be kind.  Any cost or sacrifice we make like wearing an itchy mask is all part of loving well.
Let’s also stand with everyone including Josh and myself to see more of Gods healing to see more freedom and for him to get all the glory.

Final thoughts.  As leaders we are excited for all God is going to do this season.  It might not be as straight forward as we thought it would be, but history tells us that when anything is not straight forward it creates so many opportunities for God to move and be glorified.  See you on Sunday.

How to book?
We want to say thank you to everyone who has been booking on to events, whether that is prayer meetings or Sunday gatherings. This really is the easiest and safest way to help make setting up easier and also keep people safe.  All the booking forms can be found on the 'Book Your Place' page.

What else do I need to know?
  • We have really valued breaking bread together more often so the plan is to do this when we gather in August, so please bring your own bread and wine (juice etc).
  • Please bring your own refreshments for the whole of August and first Sunday in Sept.
  • As parents please take your children to toilet.
  • If you have time to with set up or pack down please contact us or sign up to rota via the website or app.

If you have any thoughts or questions please contact me, or call me, happy to chat things through.