Worship & Notices for September 2021

Our Circuit Churches are now open for in-person worship.

Most churches will be advising the congregation to continue to follow Covid precautions regarding hand sanitising, wearing masks and social distancing, etc.

If you feel uncomfortable attending in person there will still be online alternatives for you to use.

If you feel unwell at all please do not attend in person.

 

Now that we are back to worshipping together in person, these pages will be updated less frequently.

Our services for all churches for September to November 2021 are detailed on the Circuit Plan available on the Downloads page.

The YouTube channel for Colchester Methodists will not have videos uploaded regularly for the time being. You can access all of our existing material, including stories for Young People, at any time on the channel, and new material may be uploaded on an ad-hoc basis. If you are subscribed to that channel you should receive an email notification when this happens. https://www.youtube.com/ColchesterMethodists

We continue to Live Stream the 10:30am Sunday Service from Castle Methodist Church. We have invested in a better camera and the results are well worth it. To view these services – by joining us Live or from the database of previous ones – they are all now available on Castle’s YouTube Channel here, and you can access the Live-Stream playlist here at any time. Alternatively, you can use the Live Stream link, from the Services page, on Castle’s website. We hope to add Live Streams from other Circuit Churches when available.

To join future services live from home, please Subscribe to the channel, and click the Notification Bell icon, to be notified when this service is about to go live. Contact someone from our technical team if you need more help with this. (It is free, and you can change your mind at any time. We need to reach 100 subscribers and then we can ask for a more memorable channel name, so please consider doing so if you have not already).

We will continue with the Zoom evening services for the whole Circuit on most Sunday evenings, hosted by various Churches. Your local email Hub Co-ordinator will send you an email with a link to join these. (If you haven’t received an email please contact one of your church stewards).

Zoom Services will “open” 15 minutes before the start time to allow everyone to join and settle in before beginning Worship together.

There will be no evening Zoom service when there is a 5th Sunday in the month.

For your thoughts and prayers:-

As we return to in-person worship, continue to remember all of our Circuit Ministers, Supernumeraries, and Lay Preachers in your prayers.

Rev Ken Chalmers is now back to full time working.

Rev Joe Adams remains unwell, and unable to carry out his usual duties for several weeks. Please pray for Joe, but do not contact him at this time. Any pastoral concerns should be directed to our Superintendent Rev Alan Jenkins by email or telephone.

The Circuit has been appointed as our new Circuit Administrator – pray for Helen as she settles into her new role.

Remember in your prayers folk from across the circuit who are suffering from various health problems at this time, and those who care for them.

Remember any members and friends who have recently tested positive for Covid-19, or who are isolating, and those known to us who are NHS or other keyworkers.

Remember those newly ordained at Conference in your prayers, and remember all those ministers and their families who will be moving Circuit.

Zoom Bible Study Groups:

Bible study sessions for everyone in the Circuit are held weekly on Tuesday’s and led by Ken. The Zoom meeting will open at 7.15pm for informal chat with Bible Study commencing at 7.30pm.

If you would like to join in this study please send an email to  thearkhighwoods@gmail.com  for more details, homework(!) and a Zoom link.

 

Invitation from The Ark:

We will be hosting a monthly service mid-week morning Reflections Service on Zoom on the SECOND Wednesday of each month.  Anyone from the circuit wishing to join is very much welcome to do so, but you will first need to email thearkhighwoods@gmail.com for a Zoom invite.

Audio CD’s, and DVD’s, are being made available to anyone unable to view the online service. If you know of someone who would benefit from this please let a Minister or pastoral leader know.

For more information about these activities, or to tell us about your news from around the circuit for inclusion next time, please contact colchester.methodists@gmail.com

Be sure to keep yourselves safe and well.

Let someone know if you are struggling, if you need a chat, or just some shopping. Do contact your pastoral leader, or send someone an email:  you may be in isolation, but you are not alone.

Help with Zoom and Technology

Tech Champs Update Summer 2020

The project was set up between student and staff volunteers at the University of Essex, known as the Vteam, and the Methodist circuit of churches in Colchester. Juliet from Citizens and Tomas from the Vteam met to thrash out the aims and likely work, and then the first meeting of the 2 groups followed on 23 April.

While the IT expertise is in the hands of the Vteam volunteers, it has proved to be extremely useful to have a reasonably competent champion in the churches, to encourage and mediate.  There are seven churches in the Methodist circuit, three of which engaged with the project. The great majority of church members own and use devices, with a vast range of competence.  A small number of members has never owned or used a computer, and we have had to accept that they probably never will.  Our initial focus has been within the three engaged churches, and on those owning a device with internet connection.  The initial aims of the project were to get as many church members as possible using Zoom, and to offer a bespoke one-to-one telephone service to church members who had problems using their devices.

The biggest piece of work has been the superb guides to getting onto and using Zoom from different devices, plus a beautiful guide to keeping safe online.   Zoom has enabled the churches to offer several online events, including social and business meetings, bible studies and a fundraising quiz. These have been very popular and morale-boosting, particularly for carers and for those who are shielding alone.   These people encouraged others to take part in events. Probably around 80 people (in the 3 churches) are now aware of the project, of the offer of individual assistance, and have benefitted indirectly by being in contact with as many friends as possible.

The take-up of individual assistance has been much smaller than was anticipated, but the help given, and the way it was done, was superb.

  • Peter, in his 80’s and a carer, is now able to join the weekly Zoom coffee mornings, where he checks up on all his friends.
  • Christine, living alone in a rural location and awaiting surgery, can now use WhatsApp and Zoom. She has been in touch visually with a friend in South Africa for the first time in 10 years, and also joins the coffee mornings.
  • Our most techy person in church had problems with the quality of the audio when sharing his desktop within Zoom. A 10 minute conversation with the Tech Champions and he was sorted.  Music and picture rounds in the quiz were possible due to knowledge gained from Tech Champions.

Find the Vteam’s guides at:

  https://www.thearkhighwoods.org.uk/Groups/342311/Digital_Connectivity.aspx