Steps Out of Lockdown
Back in March 2020 as lockdown began, almost overnight church suddenly looked very different (you can read our response to the COVID-19 lockdown season here).
As we now look to re-open our building and move forwards in line with easing restrictions, Mike Archer, Priest-in-Charge, has written the following update:
Being Shaped and Reshaped
Jeremiah 18: 1-4 imagines God’s shaping and reshaping of His people as a Potter working and reworking the clay.
We’re trying to reimagine church life, worship and mission in a world that has changed profoundly and keeps changing. I think the journey back from lockdown is going to be longer than many of us hoped. It’s going to require us as Highfield Church to become a people with a different spirit. What does that mean?
A Fearless People
We’re going to need to be willing to change, take risks and keep improvising if we want to be fruitful. Our society has been profoundly shaken by the pandemic and we need a different spirit that’s prepared to try lots of things to take God’s peace, presence and love to those around us. We need to be fearless about having a go, making mistakes and learning from them and seeking to be fruitful for such a time as this.
A Listening People
We began this in January when we stopped all our busyness to listen - we wanted to become more fully a people that hear God’s prompting and surrender to God’s Lordship. Even before the pandemic hit, God told us to put many things on pause.
Only the One who holds all times in His hands can help us navigate the war ahead, and we’re committed to growing in our listening and discerning in the months ahead.
A People Turning Outwards
We’ve restructured the staff team partly to create a new role - that of Outreach Pastor. We’re looking to that person to promote, model and support us turning outwards to those around us, particularly across Portswood but wherever Highfield people live. We want them to keep that outward focus on the agenda at all times, and to lead us in using all four of Fusion’s mission styles. In other words, we’re going to try this turning outwards in lots of different ways and we want this person, when appointed in the Autumn, to spend all their time outside the church.
Another sign of this turning outwards is our new full-time, permanent Student Pastor role. And a further sign is us looking to re-establish Anglican Chaplaincy at the University of Southampton.
YTH CHRCH, a congregation intentionally trying to reach young people, aiming to include them in a style of church that fits their generation and worldview, will also launch in the Autumn. It will involve a ridiculously cool indoor tabernacle (more details to follow!).
A People of All Generations
We’ll continue to grow and develop age-specific ministries that seek to serve different generations.
Highfield kids (for those aged 3-11) and other groups for children and families will relaunch in September, as will our activities for Older People (like Vintage Adventure).
We aim to value people of all generations, while particularly seeking to reach those generations most missing from the church nationally.
A Worshipping People: Highfield Online
Lockdown forced us to embrace digital more quickly and completely than we ever expected to and we’re committed to sustaining our new digital congregation.
No longer ‘Highfield at Home’ it’s going to morph into ‘Highfield Online’. We aim for it to be a resource for those not living locally who’ve connected with us. We also aim for it to serve those wanting to explore faith without committing and for those hesitant to return to church (or unable to do so). We’re committing to Highfield Online over the long-term.
A Worshipping People: Highfield in Person
After several weeks over the Summer testing out the arrangements, Sunday 6 September will see the launch of a new service pattern:
9.00am Holy Communion every Sunday - liturgical and lightly traditional
10.30am Highfield Online
YTH CHRCH (online from 27 September)
Contemporary Family Service (from 20 September including Highfield Kids from 27 September)
6.30pm Contemporary Service
We’ve found gathering once again to worship together really special and rather overwhelming.
Given the current guidance on public worship, we are asking everyone to book a place for the service they wish to attend. This can be done by clicking on the service in the rolling banner of our homepage. The booking form for each service will close at midnight on the Thursday prior to the Sunday.
We look forward so much to seeing you in person!
In the Potter’s Hands
We’re a people consciously submitting to the Lordship of our Father. This matters at all times, but especially now in this tough season and the long walk back from lockdown. We’re trusting that we will continue to be shaped and reshaped by the Potter’s Hands.
If you’re willing to be part of that journey, with the risk-taking, listening and being reshaped that will mean, then please come and join us - we’d love to meet you.