During current lockdown, the church will not be open for services.
GUIDANCE WHEN USING THE SBC BUILDING
It is important that the organiser of any service or event makes those attending aware of these guidelines before they gather and apply them during the service or event.
1. Before the service or event, the organiser will arrange the allocated room as required with social distancing rules being adhered to.
2. Windows or doors must be open to allow an air flow through the building.
3. Someone must be in attendance to welcome and assist the visitors.
4. On entry, those attending must be asked if they are fit and well and to confirm that they are not displaying any Covid-19 symptoms.
5. Face coverings, which safely cover the nose and mouth and securely fit round the side of the face, must be worn in the building. Visors alone do not count as face coverings according to the law.
6. Social distancing rules must be adhered to at all times
7. Hands must be sanitised on entry to the building.
8. The names and contact details of those attending, not exceeding current maxima permitted by law or guidance, must be recorded by the organiser, the family (for a wedding or funeral) or by SBC and retained by the organiser of the event for track and trace purposes. .
9. Those attending will be shown to the allotted room by a designated route and must be seated either as individuals or groups in accordance with prevailing guidelines. They should then stay in that room and in their allocated seat for the whole service or event.
10. Singing is not currently permitted.
11. Musical instruments must not be shared. Brass or wind instruments are not currently permitted.
12. Hand-held microphones must not be shared outside of social bubbles and should be sanitised after use.
13. Activities that include the sharing of materials or close contact outside of social bubbles should not take place.
14.Food must not be consumed on the premises. Those attending should bring their own water. The kitchen will not be available.
15. Personal belongings should be kept with the person at all times.
16. Those attending are encouraged not to use the toilets. Should they need to do so then they should use the disabled toilet on a “one in, one out” policy. The other toilet will be out of bounds.
Please be aware that whilst we manage and clean our facilities in line with Public Health England advice, users of the church and its facilities do so knowing that meeting in a public building there is an increased chance of Covid-19 infection for which Shefford Baptist Church cannot be held liable.
SBC Thought for the Week: 11th April 2021
The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem
Over the Easter weekend, I received a whatsapp containing a picture of a garden tomb, its stone rolled back and headed with the caption.
“Lockdowns don’t work!”
Whilst we might be cheered up by the recent easing of restrictions during this pandemic, the rolling away of “the lockdown stone” is as nothing compared to the joy of the rolling away of the stone of Jesus’ tomb. The rolling away of that stone told history that the grave could not hold him and, because of that, it has no sting for those who place their hope in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.
That Jesus was raised in physical form is crucial to our faith. You may remember York Minster being struck by lightning three days after the consecration in that building of the then Bishop of Durham who expressed the view that the resurrection was merely spiritual rather than physical. Maybe the lightning was a coincidence….or maybe not!
As with all assertions, one is entitled to look and test the evidence.
The Gospels contain the witness statements. What they assert is that Jesus’ death was presided over by trained executioners and witnessed by his followers. That he died on the cross is not seriously disputed.
If he rose from the dead, why did some fail to recognize him?
The apparent failure of Mary Magdalene to recognize Jesus actually adds to the credibility of the gospel accounts. It is only because of the truth of his resurrection that the writers are confident enough to include this in their narrative. Ask yourself, “why would she recognize him?”
It is early in the morning; maybe not even full daylight.
Because he had died on Friday, her brain would not interpret what her eyes may have been telling her.
She was weeping; distressed because, as far as she was concerned Jesus’ body had been stolen and she did not know where it was.
However, on hearing his voice, she had no doubt about the identity of the person in front of her.
What though of the disciples walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus who met Jesus and walked with him but did not recognize him?
We don’t know how well they knew Jesus so cannot be sure if we would expect them to recognize him but, assuming that recognition ought to be expected, Luke tells us that they were divinely prevented from doing so until Jesus broke bread with them. By this time, Jesus had taken them through the prophecies about himself in an effort to show that recent events were God’s plan to unite all things in Heaven and upon Earth through him. In other words, Jesus wanted to teach without distraction to equip them to explain to others. Once the scales were removed from their eyes, the first thing they did notwithstanding the time of day and the potential hazards in doing so, was to rush back to Jerusalem to recount their own encounter with the risen Jesus.
The question remains, in what form had he risen? Spiritual or physical?
The accounts tell us that he could be touched. Jesus gave a general invitation to his disciples to touch him and see for themselves that he was in physical form and not merely a spirit (Lk 24:39). There was the individual challenge to Thomas to put his fingers in the wounds made by the nails or his hand in his side which had been pierced by the soldier to ensure that he was dead (Jn 20:24-29). The fact that the Jesus appearing to his friends bore the marks of execution themselves testify to the physical resurrection of his body and is a compelling point of detail. Jesus also ate with his friends after his resurrection (see, for example, Luke 24:42-43).
If these points are not, in themselves, persuasive enough, remember that those who testified to this effect were prepared to be martyred rather than deny their witness accounts. That’s pretty persuasive you might think.
Escape the busyness for a while! The Matthew Project: Becoming fit for purpose & affirming your identity in Christ, is finally ready to be rolled out! This has been 10 years in the making and now takes the shape of an art course. I would like to invite you to join Bespoke (that's me) for a study of the Gospel according to Matthew. You are designed for purpose! The Matthew Project is a creative personal journey through 37 different selected themes found in the book of Matthew. Imagine 37 different stops or destinations along a journey through the small gate and down the narrow road (Matthew 7:14). Discover the lessons and encounters God has for you at each point on the journey to discovering and becoming ready for your purpose; and affirming your identity in Jesus Christ. Design your own journal pages with drawings and paintings using the verses and declarations as your inspiration. Build a scene on every page of your sketchbook in response to the prompts, themes, verses, and accompanying declarations. Join in a creative community, share techniques and processes. Be strengthened and encouraged in your walk with God. Why not invite friends and family you know would be inspired by a course like this? To join in and take part just follow my Bespoke Facebook Page. I'll attach the link below. Course material and prompts will be posted weekly as well as updates and your opportunity to comment and connect with others also taking part. Come on & join!
Shefford Baptist Church is a family friendly church seeking to serve the local community. Please have a look around the website and see who we are, what we're up to and where to find us.
Everyone is welcome at Shefford Baptist Church!
Our Mission Statement...
"To follow Jesus Christ and make him known to others”.
To that end we base our core values on biblical principles and seek to be a community which, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is increasingly Christlike."
We seek to build community by meeting together not only on a Sunday but through the week. See the Midweek section for details of groups and meetings.