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Hope is here

Our building is closed, but our church is open and active

John Risbridger 2019"This is a really challenging and uncertain time for us all, but I believe it is also the opportunity of a lifetime for the church to be the most alive, connected and transforming community on earth. God is working in extraordinary ways, and if we all play our part we can see many lives transformed and the light of Jesus shining brilliantly in the darkness" — John Risbridger, Minister

There are three key priorities in the way that we want to respond to Coronavirus (Covid-19). They are Loving GodLoving our city and Loving each other, and you can see more about each of these below.

For that response we really need each other, so we have some great ways of keeping in touch that you can connect with:

We are taking enquiries via email to office@abovebarchurch.org.uk and by calling us on 023 8022 8275.

What you need to know this week — from Sunday 20 September

  • Covid-secure services: if you are attending a service in person on Sunday 20 September, please watch our video to find out everything you need to know. You can also read these guidelines on our website
  • On Sunday 27 September, Preach and Pray will return to 4pm. This will be available on our YouTube channel. We won’t have a congregation for this Preach and Pray while we review the survey data and hold the members' forum. We will also have our 10am service, also available on YouTube, and the 7.30pm prayer event held on Zoom.
  • Beirut explosion appeal: The devastating explosion in Lebanon has resulted in significant numbers dead and thousands left injured, including 1,500 who have sustained life-changing injuries. We have an opportunity to partner with one of the 8 churches via Heart for Lebanon, to support them in their work with at least 50 families, through prayer and giving, in a critical period between now and Christmas. We’re asking ministries and communities in the church to support this work in prayer and consider raising £44 a month for 3 months. If you’d like to donate, you can do so on our Giving page, via online transfer (bank details) or by posting a cheque to the church office. Please make it clear you are donating for Heart for Lebanon. We will not be holding a Harvest appeal this year but instead focusing on the need in Lebanon.
  • Mel Lacy seminar on 2 October: Getting to the heart of Generation Z - the world our kids are living in and how it’s shaping them. On Friday 2 Oct, 8 - 9.30pm. A Zoom seminar with Mel Lacy for anyone discipling, or concerned for, children and young people – parents, grandparents, godparents, children’s and youth team members, and the wider church family. Generation Z is, broadly speaking, anyone born between 1999 and 2015. They live in a world that is in many ways significantly different to the one we grew up in. If we want to help them grow up as resilient disciples of Jesus Christ, it is vital that we understand the factors that influence them, the challenges they face, and the opportunities they have. Book on Eventbrite: https://getting-to-the-heart-of-generation-z.eventbrite.com
  • Be connected: Our home-groups have been very much the front-line of pastoral care. We are encouraging all church members and those who attend Above Bar Church to be connected to a home-group even if you cannot attend regularly. If you would like to join a home-group, please email chriswebbhomegroups1@gmail.com and we’ll do our best to link you with one.
Loving God

Online services, daily devotions and family resources

loving our city

Befriending vulnerable people and helping them get essential supplies

Loving each other

Using social media to keep praying, bible-studying, and encouraging each other

Sunday service at 10am

Each Sunday morning we will be together online at 10am. Visit our live page for details »

We also broadcast a weekly Preach and Pray video online on Sundays at 4pm. Visit our live page to watch this week’s Preach and Pray »

Read more here about finding hope during Coronavirus »

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive notifications of all our new videos »

Loving God - narrow

Loving God

This is a tough time for each of us and for our society. We believe that God is calling us to trust him more; and to help each other walk with him.

Meet each Sunday evening at 7.30pm to pray together on Zoom

You can send a prayer request to 07874 114852, at any time, and one of the prayer team will be in touch with you within 24 hours.

Remember, you can also sign up to our prayer emails by emailing prayer@abovebarchurch.org.uk.

On our Facebook Digital Community, the church family is often sharing prayer requests.

Sharing Hope: Daily Devotions videos

View the full playlist on our YouTube channel »

Subscribe to our email list to receive daily devotionals and weekly updates »

Deep lessons in the time of pandemic: audio podcasts

Chris Webb and others help us reflect on this time of pandemic: listen online here »

Subscribe to our podcast with RSS or iTunes to get the latest episode straight to your device.

Mental health resources

Visit these helpful websites with resources to help you during lockdown:

Loving our city - narrow

Loving our city

Above Bar Church is working with other churches to provide a centralised church response to the Coronavirus crisis. This partnership is called Love Southampton.

Love Southampton are gathering volunteers to refer people to specialist partners and provide phone support for those in need of befriending and practical support for those in need of essential supplies.

The work of Basics Bank continues, and it will be ever more vital. Visit the Southampton City Mission website for the latest on the needs of Basics Bank and how we can assist.

Loving our city is not only about city-wide projects. It’s about the way we care for people around us, in the places we live and work. This is a great time to use WhatsApp groups and kindness cards (print single or 4up) to connect with our neighbours – offering to support practically and pray for them.

Loving each other - narrow

Loving each other

None of us can look after everyone, but all of us can look out for some people, to make sure they don’t end up isolated or disconnected. 

Many home groups are sharing prayer requests, studying the Bible together and planning to help through WhatsApp groups and video conferences — as well as phone calls! If you are not yet in a home group, please email us and we will connect you. You may have particular needs for prayer; remember that you can always contact the church office via email or on the mobile number at the top of the page.

If you are on Facebook, the Above Bar Church Digital Community is a great way to keep in touch, and share some encouragements and challenges.

Advice in domestic abuse situations

At this time many people are finding life harder, and there has been a notable rise in domestic abuse within our city. For confidential advice, information and support for professionals and victims experiencing domestic abuse you can contact the Pippa Helpline. Helpline available Monday to Friday.

In an emergency, always call 999. If you are not able to speak, key 55 then follow any instructions you can from the operator.

Supporting our healthcare professionals

The Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) has produced a wide range of resources (including news, prayers, devotionals) to help healthcare professionals during the pandemic, including online prayer at 7pm every day. CMF is also planning an online conference on Saturday 25th April with various seminars, Bible sessions and breakout rooms for discussion, prayer & networking in specialties.

Together with Evangelical Alliance, CMF has also produced a set of videos with guidance for the rest of the church family on how they can support healthcare professionals in their congregations.

Maybe you have ideas for how to support others locally? Or to support a family member, a single parent or an older person with Coronavirus? How is your family during this time? Share your ideas on the Facebook group or email us: office@abovebarchurch.org.uk


Causes and values: part 2

Causes and values: how can we apply our values?

We unfortunately don’t need to look very far to see the suffering in society today, but there are also many humbling examples of people campaigning for their values and causes. Individuals who have found their true voice and realised that enough is enough, sometimes risking their own safety and dignity.

Continue reading

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