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Steps Out of Lockdown

Steps Out of Lockdown


# Internal Updates
Published on Thursday, 15 October 2020 15:28

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 Gods shaping and reshaping of His people as a Potter working and reworking the clay.  

Were 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. Its going to require us as Highfield Church to become a people with a different spirit. What does that mean? 

A Fearless People 

Were 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 thats prepared to try lots of things to take Gods 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 Gods prompting and surrender to Gods 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 were committed to growing in our listening and discerning in the months ahead. 

A People Turning Outwards 

Weve restructured the staff team partly to create a new role - that of Outreach Pastor. Were 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 Fusions mission styles. In other words, were 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 peopleaiming 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 

Well 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 were committed to sustaining our new digital congregation.  

No longer Highfield at Home’ its going to morph into Highfield Online. We aim for it to be a resource for those not living locally whove 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). Were 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 

Weve 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 Potters Hands 

Were 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. Were trusting that we will continue to be shaped and reshaped by the Potters Hands. 

If youre willing to be part of that journey, with the risk-taking, listening and being reshaped that will mean, then please come and join us - wed love to meet you. 

Every Blessing, 
Mike
July 2020