"Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord". Luke 13:35b
May God our Creator, walk with us during this season of Lent. May we enter more deeply into the passion of Jesus and come to depend more completely on his Spirit, that we may live a life that shines with the light of the resurrected Christ. Amen
HEALTH & SAFETY
This liturgy has been developed for you to use in home group gatherings during the Covid-19 outbreak, where larger group gatherings have been restricted. Feel free to use this liturgy in a way that suits your group best, and don't feel you have to use every part of the booklet. The basic framework of the liturgy is to share God's word in Scripture, hear a reflection and talk about its application, share commuion, pray, and to look outwards to the needs of our local environment. The idea is that anyone can lead, or take turns sharing in leading. This liturgy is not specific to a Sunday - you could gather on any day of the week.
Hosting a House Church
We encourage you to keep gathering in prayer and worship together. We encourage you to prepare a space together that is peaceful and welcoming, perhaps with a candle, cross, or other point of focus. If you are using a screen to show video content such as online sermons, make sure everyone can see and hear, and you have any web links bookmarked and ready to go.
Groups can share communion using pre-consecrated bread and wine only if they have a leader / member present who holds a bishop's license and they use the 'House Church Liturgy' or the New Zealand Anglican Prayerbook pg 518-520.
Alternatively, groups are encouraged to include an 'Extended Grace' when sharing an informal meal together.
See Booklet 5 'Runsheet for an informal gathering for the sharing of a meal together'.
Sharing communion is an important part of who we are as Anglican family. If you would like pre-consecrated wafers and wine, please advise the office during the week and these will be consecrated during the livestream service.
In order to share these safely, we suggest that one person, who has thoroughly cleaned their hands as per best practice, is responsible for opening the packet and placing wafers onto a plate for each individual person to take one by one. There should be no hand to hand contact.
Everyone should wash their hands before and after communion (as per best practice for eating). You might like to have some hand sanitiser ready, if you have some available.
We encourage leaders to follow the latest Covid-19 health and safety guidelines at all times. Visit www.covid19.govt.nz/traffic-lights for more information.
We will be checking in with you regularly to see how we can support you as you meet in small groups. This will include regularly sharing what is happening in groups via the weekly email communication, meeting with you one-on-one and also gathering house church hosts/leaders together for feedback and idea-sharing.
Living in Hope
As followers of Jesus we are His hands and feet in being a joyful and non-anxious witness to our neighbourhoods. As well as continuing in prayer, we encourage you to join any community care initiatives (e.g. local registers, phone trees) which allow you to make loving connections with those around you.
Prayer is the foundation for our relationship with God and we offer a wide range of prayer resources to support individuals and small groups as we meet in House Churches during the red level.
Running a house church can seem a little overwhelming at the beginning, so we have included a few ideas of how that service might look in your context. Click on the files below and see which one might suit your group.
These runsheets are simply a starting point - you may wish to rearrange how you order your service at home. Typically, a service of worship would include:
And don't forget that we will always have the Livestream available if you would like to continue with this option.
We have a variety of tools that we are working on to help small groups 'connect'. These include activities that you can choose to do together as a small group worship service.
Remember that these are simply a starting point for your small group - you may discover other tools or activities that suit you better. If you do discover something fabulous, please share it so others may also be encouraged.
We thank the Diocese of Wellington for their work in forming the framework for the house church liturgy.
HEALTH & SAFETY