Conspiracy theories abound

Friends,

The more I read on social media, the more people I speak to, conspiracy theories are becoming a real issue.  They are creating panic and fear in people.  I acknowledge that the future is unclear and uncertain.  And yes, we need to do all we can to help those in need.  However, times like this call for clear heads, measured responses and calm.covid-19-icap

What COVID-19 has shown us is the reality of our own mortality, and how fragile life actually is.  We live blissfully oblivious to these facts most of the time.  However, now facing this virus, suddenly, we must consider the fragility of life.

As we are faced with this reality, why pray tell would we feed our minds with more conspiracy theories?  The internet has always been full of them, but now more than ever people are grasping for reasons for COVID-19.  They are looking for someone to blame.  Interestingly the usual scape goat for disasters, God, is not highest on the list.  Rumours and conspiracies abound. It’s 5G, it’s the Chinese, it’s Trump, it’s man made, it’s the Israelis, it’s governments, it’s the illuminati, it’s Bill Gates, it’s in vaccines.  It’s to get everyone to get ‘The mark of the beast’ It’s all about placing fear in people so world powers can be in control.  REALLY?

People are even asking if anyone knows someone personally who has died from COVID-19!  Well I do.

Let me ask you this, ‘What in all of this can you control?’ Jesus said it this way. “So, which one of you by worrying could add anything to your life?” Another translation says it this way, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27) In other words, you aren’t in control, so don’t feed your fears!

People listen to all the voice notes flying around. All the articles of doom and gloom.  Those are the ones which sell, the ones which give bad news and spread fear. We read all the conspiracy theories of where this came from and speculate about our futures.  Yes, we are facing difficulties, the fear we face in the crisis of COVID-19. We find time to complain to God about the uncertainty of these times. We spend so much time telling God how bad everything is going. No one knows the future apart from our Father in heaven.  That’s the place we should be focusing.  

This is a time to remember that God is bigger than all these difficulties, crisis and uncertainty! It’s time to trust in Him. We cannot control this, if we try, we show we do not trust Him. It does take an emptying of oneself in order that He can fill you with His peace. Spend time with Jesus in prayer, worship and the reading of scripture. You want peace in these times, empty yourself and find it in one person Who is bigger than the tempest that is life now. The peace producer, Jesus.

What you feed in your life is what will grow in your life.  Could I encourage you to read from reliable sources, check and verify any stories before sharing them, and most importantly feed your mind with bible reading and your soul with prayer and worship.

Peace be with you, stay connected, safe and healthy. Andrew

Willow Hill Family

Friends,

To ‘flatten the curve’ of the Corona virus pandemic, President Ramaphosa announced a national lockdown from midnight on Thursday, 26 March, until 16 April 2020. We at Willow Hill Vineyard Church will fully comply with the lockdown. So, all our small group gatherings will shut down and we will endeavor to find new ways of staying connected and engaging with one another.72446922_2103175786453610_6789110317239500800_n

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our society on many levels. Our government who has had to make tough crisis decisions that will have serious repercussions on our economy. And obviously families struggling to find a way forward and dealing with new ways to keep themselves safe, healthy and productive.

At Willow we are finding our ‘New Normal’ for the next couple of weeks until things return to normal. Whatever that normal may look like.  In the meantime, let us stay connected.  Let’s keep the joyful, generous and loving heart of Willow alive! There are many ways of doing this.  We are using email, Facebook, Instagram and various other social media platforms.

Please ensure you have the Willow Office number saved to your phone so you can receive our WhatsApp updates – 066 327 1945

  • Connect with 2 people at 2pm day
  • WhatsApp – Regular calls or video Calls to one another
  • ZOOM calls - One person will be the host – it can be the Prayer Group Leader, a Life Group Leader or anybody else who volunteers to do it. The other members will join the meeting using the invitation from the host. There is an explanation at the end of this communication in an appendix which explains the process in detail.
  • Bible Study - Using discovery bible study method to get people spending time in scripture over Zoom in small groups.

Or get the app:

Apple - https://apps.apple.com/us/app/discover-the-bible/id1138013443

Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.discoverapp&hl=en_ZA

  • Weekly short video clips – Which we will share on social media to encourage and convey what God is doing, teaching and preaching combined into 1-3min clips.
  • Sunday Morning Message – Via You Tube. You will be sent the link on a Sunday morning. (Live Steaming may follow)
  • Share our communications - with those who may not have a community of faith or are just simply alone.

What other creative ideas do you have for how to continue to connect with and love people? Please share them with us! And if you have any questions, concerns, or just need to talk, please reach out to and of us on the leadership or your life group leader!

If you are sick and need prayer please call us and we will pray for you and assist where possible:

Andrew – 083 415 9620

Rob – 072 413 6285

Office – 066 327 1945 (Steph)

Finally, we do understand that these times are financially challenging for all of us, but we want to encourage you to keep giving so that we as a church can keep reaching people with the hope of Jesus and meeting our commitments. (Willow Hill Vineyard; FNB – 62033 202 681)

Stay safe and stay healthy! Friends, it is our hope that this will be a time that will bring spiritual renewal to you and yours!  ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’ (Numbers 6:24-26)

Love

Andrew and the Willow Leaders

Appendix:

How to use Zoom for Prayer Group meetings (or any other meeting)

What is it?

Zoom is a video conferencing application available on the internet. It enables a group of people to hear and see each other talking, while not being in the same place. (There are several similar apps available, e.g. Skype – you can use anyone, but we just chose Zoom because it’s simple to get up and running on any phone, tablet or PC.) What do I need?

1) A device like a smart phone, a tablet, laptop or a computer with a web camera. (A smart phone is a cell phone that can access the internet.)

2) The Zoom app, which you can download from the App Store or Play Store for mobile devices. The Zoom Cloud Meetings app is free, and the icon looks like this:

3) Download link for any type of device: https://zoom.us/support/download  

4) The host of the meeting must sign up in order to create a meeting. He/she can then send the invitations to Prayer members.

How does it work?

One person will be the host – it can be the Prayer Group Leader or anybody else who volunteers to do it. The other members will join the meeting using the invitation from the host.

The host must go through the Sign-Up steps on the Zoom app or website.

The host creates the meeting, and then sends an email or WhatsApp to each participant containing a link – it looks like this on email:

From the email or WhatsApp, every participant can click on the link and join the Zoom Meeting via the app.

On mobile devices, make sure you allow access to the camera and microphone (allow video and audio recording).

For prospective meeting hosts, have a look at the following Getting Started video:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Dq1syZX2O4&t=49s

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The Team

imageAndrew Christie (Senior Pastor)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 066 327 1945
 
image Rob McDonald (Pastor)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 072 413 6285
 
image Steph McDonald (PA)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 066 327 1945
 

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