Below is an example of a Christian Workplace Group, that although are unable to meet together physically, are using virtual communication through newsletters, intranet, MS Teams. By sharing we hope you are able to glean some good practice. Thanks to the GLA Christian Staff Network for allowing us to use this material.
EASTER MARCH/APRIL 2020 from the Greater London Authority – the Mayor of London’s office
ACTS OF KINDNESS & GENEROSITY IN LONDON
Bi – W e e k l y M e e t i n g s
You are all encouraged to join the bi weekly meetings via teams as we are now requested to work from home. These are from 1-2pm.
C o r o n a v i r u s
GLA CORE BRIEF
We encourage you all to keep informed by reading the weekly Core Brief and continue to pray for all colleagues at the GLA and for Londoners during this time.
I n v i t a t i o n
You are invited to join the GLA Christian staff network Easter virtual teams celebration on Wednesday 8th April from 1pm to 2pm. Invite your colleagues to join us all welcome.
All staff are now encouraged to work from home. This can be isolating for some so we shall continue with the scheduled bi weekly meetings via teams so you can still join remotely. We shall be setting up a Teams group to keep in touch with each other.
Welcome to the GLA Christian staff network newsletter.
We are keen to keep in touch and communicate with you during this time of constant change and uncertainty. The Coronavirus outbreak is having an impact it on our daily working and personal life.
Apostle Paul advised us in the bible to not give up the habit of meeting together (Hebrews 10:25).
Our challenge is to consider different ways to be together to encourage and support one another and keep safe. The GLA Christian Staff Network gets support from Transform Work UK Link who share best practice with Christian workplace networks across the UK. We have been working with Ros the Director & Femi the Ambassador for London Council’s at Transform Work UK to keep them informed of our activities. They also support the other GLA group faith networks and ones located around More London. They have attended many of our events including our joint GLA group event we held last year which the Mayor provided a personalized video message. There were over 100 people in attendance with TfL, London Ambulance, London Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade faith networks participated in our Easter event at City Hall with cross party representation from Assembly Members.
Almost 1 year later as we approach Easter 2020 most of us are now working from home and asked to restrict travel due to the COVID 19 outbreak. There are now daily press briefings from the government to keep the nation updated. Families self- isolating even keeping a safe distance within households. Social gatherings put on hold and even places of worship moving to online/virtual services. We are not sure how long this period of uncertainty will. However, in the midst of this there are so many examples of people reaching out in their communities to help one another. Restaurants providing meals to those self-isolating, food & care packages being donated to residential homes, individuals offering to help with shopping or collecting prescriptions for the vulnerable.
During this challenging time, we encourage you to reach out to your colleagues, family, friends and neighbours to show acts of kindness and share words of encouragement. Also, to remind you that you are entitled to 3 days volunteering time a year which you can use in different ways but also to take on board the health advice from NHS England with safe distancing etc.
Easter Virtual Fellowship Lunch Time Meeting – WEDNESDAY 8TH APRIL
Join us for our Easter virtual team’s celebration from 1pm to 2pm. Just select join in your outlook calendar invite. We normally have bi-weekly physical meeting at City Hall and Union street. During this period of us working at home we shall have joint virtual team’s meetings for everyone. Keep in touch with colleagues and friends, and remember that your own and your family’s wellbeing take priority.
KEEP POSITIVE “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him, should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 Wishing you and your family a happy blessed Easter.
40 Acts of Kindness Challenge
Take some time out to watch this short video https://40acts.org.uk/ which promotes the 40 Acts of Kindness Challenge during the 40 days of Lent period before Easter. We have conducted this several times at the GLA with colleagues treating others to a coffee or cup of tea or other random acts of kindness.
This video is of children’s acts of kindness is guaranteed to make you smile. LINK – You Tube 40 Acts of Kindness Children
Introducing the GLA Christian Staff Network Executive Members
Chair Vice Chair Comms Leads SLT Champion
Lola Akinrodoye Pat Muotto Junior Lagranha Tamsin Addison & Heather Jarman
Above are the current executive members and their roles. There are approximately 40 members with staff based at both City Hall and Union street. We are a staff network of different Christian denominations hosting 2 events per year normally at Easter and Christmas. We have social activities such as going for a meal, picnics in the summer. Prayer and fellowship together. We are also consulted on reviews of HR policies and meet on a regular basis with other GLA staff network executive members and provide updates on activities we have undertaken to the GLA Diversity & Inclusion Board.
We welcome volunteers who would like to support us with the above activities.
Last year we surveyed members and asked for their suggestions on how best to communicate with you and one of the recommendations resulting from the survey was to produce a newsletter like this one which we intend to produce twice a year.
We are taking on board a suggestion from Transform UK and would like to encourage you to help us build our relationships during this time.
For our bi weekly virtual meetings, we are requesting a different member of the group to briefly share their testimony.
- This can include something positive that has happened that week.
- Share a quick testimony of how they became a Christian
- An example of good deeds they have recently undertaken.
Dates of meetings scheduled as follows;
25 March, 8 April, 23 April, 14 May, 27 May, 10 June, 25 June, 9 July and 22 July
Please email Lola, Pat or Tamsin if you would like to volunteer to share a testimony on one of the above dates.
We are suggesting this targeted prayer at this time .
Our Father in Heaven,
As a Christian staff network group we seek your protection on our colleagues and those they love, that they will not be infected with covid 19. That our Christian colleagues will rest in the shadow of the almighty so that his outstretched wings will protect them and fend off the disease. We pray that God will stop harm getting through the door into our homes, for discernment in knowing what is safe to do, where to go and where is unsafe. Wisdom for those in authority that they may minimize the impact. That Christians will be filled with God’s peace, show serenity and help others to be calm. Endurance and energy for medical staff. Thank you for our jobs and we choose to trust in you and your hand of protection on your people at this this time. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen
TAKE SOME TIME FOR REFLECTION – PEACE LIKE A RIVER
We encourage you to take regular breaks during the day and also set aside some time for reflection with a cup of tea.
In the book of Philippians verses 4:5-8, Apostle Paul encourages us by saying:
Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude.
Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.
So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.
I believe we all need to hear this, especially in the current time that we are in. Being away physically from colleagues, friends and even family can be lonely, but be rest assured that you are not alone.
This is actually the time we need to reach out to one another via technology and also time to pray, praise and thank God. We need to seek His face for His mercy and Grace to carry on.
Isaiah 26:3-4 gives us the assurance that “You (God) will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].
We as a network hope with the help of God to put this into practice.
For the Government for wisdom in this unprecedented and challenging time
The isolated ones and the bereaved, as well as for the key workers helping to keep us safe
For God to intervene in the current situation, pray for our colleagues and keep us safe
For the Mayor, GLA Chief Executive and Executive Directors during this time
For one another to alienate loneliness and even have tea break calls
To join network virtual meetings and actively participate
Be our sister’s and brother’s Keep
In conclusion let the peace of God (SHALOM) flow over you like a river and let His gentle whisper calm your soul. Just like the song says “it is well with my soul” and yours.
Daily Devotional prayer link – John Piper’s daily devotional.
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