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Latest News from Rev Daniel Kane at West

Returning to Church Services at West

To enable us to have Services of Worship in the church, we are required to follow regulations made by the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and Ballymena Presbytery.

It is, therefore, a condition of entry that anyone attending services follows the regulations as set out below. It is our aim to prevent any transmission of the virus within the church as far as we can possibly do so. It is solely in the interest of making the health and well-being of all those attending our priority that these measures are being taken.

GENERAL

(a) Anyone who has any of the symptoms of Covid-19 must NOT attend under any circumstances.

(b) The use of face masks would be strongly recommended. Face masks will NOT be provided by Church.

(c) The 2 metre distancing must be observed at all times in the church and church grounds. This will be reviewed in the light of any official change.

(d) A record, photographic, or otherwise, will be made of all attending, to be available in the unlikely case of Contact Tracing being required. That record will be destroyed after 28 days.

(e) Church Stewards have the full authority of Kirk Session and their instructions must be followed at all times.

ENTRY

(f) Entry to church will only be through the Ballymoney Road door of the Social Area. For that reason the car parking spaces on that side of the church will all be "Disabled Spaces". All other spaces round the church will be "Non-Disabled"

(g) On entry everyone must use the hand sanitiser.

(h) Since the lift will not be in operation it would be appreciated if the ground floor was left for those who could not climb the stairs.

(i) You will be shown to a seat by a steward and this will mean that many people will not be in the seats which they would normally occupy or in which they might prefer to sit.

(j) Many pews will be clearly marked as "not available for use".

(k) Family members may, of course, sit together in a pew. It is likely, however, that only two people from different homes will be allowed to sit in the same pew.

(l) Children must sit with their parents and remain in church for the entire service.

EXIT

(l) At the end of a service the stewards will have responsibility for releasing members from their seats and enabling all members to leave the building in an orderly and safe way.

(m) Hand sanitiser will be available at the exits.

(n) In the interests of safety, members are asked not to congregate in the church grounds, no matter how tempting this might be!

(o) There will be no after-church tea and coffee for the foreseeable future.

TOILETS

(p) Due to strict hygiene and cleaning requirements now in force only the two disabled toilets will be available until further notice

ALSO

(q) There will be no facilities for Wild West, Switch or Crèche for the foreseeable future.

(r) There will be no meetings of organisations either from church or the community for the foreseeable future. When the time comes all start-up plans will have to be submitted to, and, authorised by Kirk Session.

Now Streaming Live on You Tube every Sunday Morning!

May I encourage you to continue to gather around your computer, tablet, phone, etc on Sunday mornings at 11.00am and we will do virtual Church together (in order to do this people must "like" the West Church Ballymena facebook page on their own facebook account).

Either Linda or myself will lead a short act of worship which we can all join with from the comfort of our own homes. We are also aware that not everyone is on Social Media so we want to make DVD/CD's as widely available as possible so please contact the

Church Office 028 2564 8327

to give your details or e-mail westchurch.ballymena@btinternet.com.

Please note there now DVD'S available for every Sunday going forward.

HAPPY LISTENING

Remember past and current sermons are uploaded weekly onto our website for you and any of your friends to listen to whenever you choose. There is no shortage of sermons to go back and catch up on.

Pastoral Care

Hospital visits are now back in place for family members. However other regular pastoral visits have been suspended for the time being, so the best way to keep in touch is by phone, WhatsApp and other electronic means.

The first point of contact in this regard should be the elder to whose district you have been assigned and they will be in touch with you in the next few weeks and months.

This will be a hugely important way of keeping in touch. In the sad event of there being a funeral by necessity it will stll have to be strictly private with no Church service for the meantime. we will update you on that whenever things change.

Help4you - Community Service

Linda Keys co-ordinates a group of volunteers who are willing to assist anyone who is self-isolating and requires shopping, DVD's or CD's of the Sunday Services, medication and other messages to be dropped at your doorstep. This service has prooved to be invaluable to those who are unable to leave their homes at this time.

A very BIG thank you to all the helpers who have been delivering shopping, DVD's and CD's and prescriptions to those in need. Please use this service we are only too happy to help you or a neighbour in any way we can - contact Linda directly on 07799100444.

Epic Awards 2020 Care for Creation

During the autumn of 2019, Ballymena Church Members Forum in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council invited churches in the Ballymena area to host several community arts workshops on the theme 'Care for Creation'. The objective was to bring people together to illustrate, through the medium of art, global issues such as pollution and climate change.

8 churches♦ agreed to participate and over the following months up to February 2020 each hosted 2 workshops led by professional artists. architects and designers The workshops overall drew in around 400 people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to create pieces of art work These pieces were to be exhibited in the Braid Centre at the end of March and as an open air trail on bus shelters in the town and surrounding district. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Braid exhibition has been postponed but many images remain on display on bus shelters.

A few months ago, we had the project entered for Epic Awards 2020 – a competition for voluntary groups across the UK and Ireland. On 10 August 2020 we were informed that 'Care for Creation' had been shortlisted with 4 others for the Epic (Ireland) Award. The full shortlist is published at bt.ly/epicshortlist

Posters on Display

We will also be part of the public voting – across the UK and Ireland – for the People's Choice Award. Voting opened on 10 August and closes at midnight on Sunday 20 September 2020. It just takes a few minutes to go online to bit.ly/epicvoting and vote for 'Care for Creation'. Please spread the word around your contacts and on social media to encourage a good result for your friends in West Church Craft Group and Ballymena in general.

♦All Saints, Ballymena Methodist Church, Craigs Parish Church, High Kirk, Moravian Church, Gracehill, St Columba's and St Patrick's Parish Churches and West Church.

Hamper Ministry

Once again A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed so generously to our Hamper Ministry during these last six months and hopefully that will continue in the next months ahead, coming up to Christmas!

Many of our church members and our neighbours, townsfolk and our friends are going through extraordinary tough financial times in this Covid restricted period and are in desparate need of food to sustain their families. We know the number of people who will be affected by the uncertain economic changes in our world will only be on the increase in the coming weeks.

If you know of someone, a neighbour or a young family either belonging to the church or not, who needs a bit of help or support during this time, please let us know so we can reach out to them in a small way with this ministry.

In order to deliver this food safely and hygenically to everyone, we are asking for anyone who has a spare Bag(s) for Life - to please drop it (them) off to the church - leaving them in the shopping basket that is placed outside the church at the Court House side door. During Office hours (8.30am -13.30pm Tuesday to Friday). Thank You.

Next IGNITE on ZOOM Tuesday 6th October 2020

We are back again on Zoom with IGNITE from October through to December at 7.45pm and every other Tuesday of every month. Contact Daniel or Linda or the church office for the log on details.

The new series of IGNITE will be based on Part 1 NIV, The Books of the Bible, Covenant History. The New Books have arrived and are available from Linda Keys, on a Sunday in church, and from the office thereafter at a cost of £5.00 per book.

Proposed Programme for September – October 2020

Tuesday 6th October – Exodus (Part 1)

Read Week 3 (Pages 85 – 123)

Tuesday 20th October – Exodus (Part 2)

Read Week 4 (Pages 123 – 148)

ZOOM Prayer Groups are held in the weeks in between Ignite

To compliment and encourage everyone, in the weeks between IGNITE sessions, IGNITE prayer groups have been set up, under the management of Linda Keys.

If you are not currently involved in a Prayer Triplet but would like to meet through Zoom with like minded prayer warriors throughout this Covid19 pandemic, please contact Linda Keys (07799100444), or Daniel Kane (028 2565 3111) or Patricia at the Office (028 2564 8327).

We will require your e-mail address and you will be advised on the details that will permit you to join the Zoom meetings when they take place.

Please check with your group when the next Prayer Zoom meeting is being held - each group may differ throughout the Autumn and Winter.

Our youth programme for 2020/2021 Online

Our youth programme for 2020/2021 looks a little different this year. Unfortunately, we are not able to meet in person for the foreseeable future, however we are going online! This year, we're going to look at the Big Picture of the Bible and will be working our way right through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, carefully considering God's plan for Salvation.

We'll be looking at Bible stories and events including Creation, The Fall, The Exodus, King David, Jesus' Life & Ministry, Jesus' Death & Resurrection and Jesus' Return (plus many more), thinking about how they fit into God's rescue plan for all of us. We will be doing this through reading the Bible, watching videos and chatting through some questions to think about. We'll also have a bit of fun and a laugh along the way through games and activities with one another – virtually of course!!

We will meet via Zoom on the 2nd & 4th Sunday evening of each month @ 7pm starting on Sunday 13th September. This is for everyone Year 8 - Year 14 and we would REALLY love for you to join us, especially if you've just moved up from P7 to Year 8, or have never joined us before! Details of each meeting will be sent out via our youth WhatsApp group or emailed to parents, depending on your preference.

Although we are meeting online, consent forms do still need to be filled out and these can be accessed on our church website RESOURCES page, the form is called Zoom consent. Please fill them in electronically(including parental signature) and then send them to Laura Kelly, whose email address can be found on the consent form.

Prayer Ministry

The love we have for one another in Christ is expressed through prayer which is our best weapon to fight against this coronavirus and our individual anxieties and concerns going forward. Please use the prayer email at westprayer@hotmail.co.uk.

Emergency Prayer Line 07544833501

On-line Support

There are lots of really good websites and youtube videos which you can use to encourage your spirit and nourish your walk with the Lord. Desi Maxwell's material is available to everyone free of charge at http://xploretheyoke.com/membership-acco.../membership-levels/ Don't forget the joy of reading a good book!!!

This is a time for us as followers of the risen Lord to speak faith into the fear and reassurance into the uncertainty.

And don't forget - "Together we are West."

All notices for the bulletin and website must be with the office by Wednesday at 6.00 pm.