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Autumn 2021 edition: Order and chaos

 
Aut21CoverWhen the editorial group met to discuss this latest edition of Baptists Together magazine, there was a sense that come September things might – might – be starting to settle after the upheavals of the previous 18 months. The vaccine had seemingly reduced hospitalisations and deaths; restrictions were duly removed at the end of July (a move the Government described as ‘irreversible’) and activities hitherto unthinkable during a global pandemic – night-clubbing, or communal singing in a church service, perhaps – were permissible again. Yet with the disruption and tragedy so many have endured, it’s clearly not a return to life as we knew it before March 2020.  

The current edition of Baptists Together attempts to capture something of this uncertain season. The storm may have passed, but what has it done and what now remains? The idea of order and chaos resonated: many of us feel battered, weary, and fearful. As one writer asks, how will we be as we come to terms with what the pandemic has done to our world and the part of it we inhabit?

How do we look ahead when there is such an unforeseeable future?  

Will people return to church as we know it, or will our experience of online church have changed things for some time to come, if not permanently? What are people doing differently as a result of the pandemic – and how is their thinking being shaped as a result? What can we learn from each other? And what can we learn from those who have gone before us, say the Early Church, or from our Baptist roots?

With Covid still circulating and the possibility of new variants outsmarting the vaccine, no one really knows what happens next. But the dominant thread running though this collection of articles is that God is with us, and he is moving. Our hope and prayer is that you know this truth deeply, and that there is much in this edition to encourage and strengthen you.
 
The key articles in the magazine are featured below:
Card Lynn Green
Uncertainty and Opportunity
Pondering where we can find spiritual wisdom as we look to the future, Lynn Green draws insight and encouragement from the Early Church More ...
Card Geoff Colmer
Leading when you don't know where you are going
Baptist Union President Geoff Colmer reflects on facing an uncertain future… with an invitation to greater trust More ...
Card Gary and Jayne
Shifting Sands
Fear and faith in the midst of a global pandemic More ...
Card Sally Sago
Discovering treasure in life's scars
Minister Sally Sago explains how a partnership between King Street Baptist Thetford and UK charity Kintsugi Hope is working More ...
Card Alan Donaldson
Surfing the wave of chaos
A reflection on complexity theory and finding a way forward in this most chaotic of times. By Alan Donaldson More ...
Card Pete Phillips
What do we mean by Hybrid Church?
Pete Phillips explains what Hybrid Church is, where it came from and why it’s here to stay More ...
Card Robin Smith
Bringing young people through the storm
Most good children’s and youth work is born out of chaos, writes Robin Smith More ...
Card Hilary Taylor
Big blessings in small churches
An update from some of our smaller churches, by Hilary Taylor More ...
Card Tim and Winston
Why churches should invest in their minister's development
“College never prepared me for this” has been a common refrain among ministers, by Tim Fergusson and Winston Bygrave More ...
Card Seidel Boanerges
A unique hope in the midst of chaos and uncertainty
Seidel Boanerges endured personal heartbreak during the pandemic. He explains why he has hope in the face of an uncertain tomorrow More ...
Godly Play
Godly Play online
Sue and Arnie Hensby had seen several families join their growing church prior to the pandemic. They explain how they adapted the children’s ministry at Sutton St James Baptist Church during the lockdown restrictions. More ...
Online church
Online church - what next?
With restrictions lifting, and church buildings now open again, how has Covid-19 affected Oadby Baptist Church’s online services? Interview with Tom Cox More ...
Community has changed
The community has changed - and we need to change
Justice Enabler Wale Hudson-Roberts also serves as the minister of John Bunyan Baptist Church in Oxford. He explains how the church is exploring its response to a post-pandemic future More ...
We have responded
We have responded to needs that have arisen in the pandemic
How Gorse Hill Baptist Church in Swindon has moved to meet community needs over the last year. Interview with Heather Prictor More ...
You’ve created
You’ve created a real sense of community
The disruption of the pandemic resulted in Little Kingshill Baptist Church bringing a much-needed amenity to its village. Interview with Martin Hatfield More ...
Love Work Card
Love: Work
Reflections and prayers for a world at work, by Phil Jump and John Weaver More ...
Climate resource Card
Climate resources for churches
A crucial conference for the climate is taking place in Glasgow in November. COP26 is a global United Nations summit about climate change and how countries are planning to tackle it. More ...

A printed copy of the magazine was sent to each minister, church secretary and church treasurer and additional copies are available to purchase from our online shop.
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