Pondering and praying for the most constructive response to the Covid-19 (corona virus) situation,
1. We have decided to NOT GATHER for public worship services in Helsinki (Mission Church, Tähtitorninkatu 18) or Espoo (Espoo Cathedral Parish Hall, Kirkkoranta 2) for two weeks. (Hence, no services on March 15 and March 22.)
We do this not out of fear or lack of faith, but in order to protect those who are at greatest risk, and in order to play our part in relieving the health care system as much as possible.
2. We will, however, LIVESTREAM the Helsinki service from the Mission Church.
We invite you to join us online at 11am or whenever you have a time to tune in. (You will also be able to watch the service later.) We will soon provide instructions how you can join via streaming on our website (www.church.fi). We also have re-runs of the service from here. iec.online.church
3. Very likely upcoming events like the Annual General Meeting (scheduled for March 24), the Alpha course, Community Group meetings and others might be postponed. Follow upcoming updates.
4. Finally, we would like to share some thoughts with you as to how we can actually embrace this situation with faith and as church community.
Last week we were reminded of the importance of prayer, pondering Jesus’ words in Mark 9:14-29. (You can listen to last Sunday’s message again via our podcast or soundcloud). A time like this is an opportunity to up our prayer life, both individually and corporately.
Why don’t you set an alarm (for instance on your mobile phone) to remind you to pray every day at 12 pm (or even three times, for instance at 7 am, 12:00 pm and 7 pm).
If you are in good health, you might even consider praying and fasting for a day. (Good spiritual and health-related guidelines on fasting you can find here and here.)
ENGAGE WITH GOD'S WORD
You might have more time at hand. Why not spend more time engaging with God’s word:
continue or start to read the Bible daily (reading plans or apps like the Bible in One Year can help you)
ponder how characters in the Bible dealt with challenges by trusting God with their life, their families, even their nations
if you have family, read a portion of the the Bible together at the breakfast or dinner table
pray the Bible
ENCOURAGE & SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER
While many activities and gatherings are on hold, why not
Intentionally reaching out to one another to encourage and support
Give someone a call who is lonely, or a friend or family member that you have not been in touch with for a while. (Why not ask them how you could pray for them?)
Ponder whether you could share vital information with internationals who have not sufficient access to these information due to language or other barriers.
Ask whether there are ways you could help someone else practically?
STAY TUNED VIA WHATSAPP & CHURCHSUITE
A situation like the current one highlights how important it is to stay connected and make use of available com
munication channels. Aside from our website (www.church.fi) and facebook page, ad-hoc communications happen frequently through our WhatsApp groups (Helsinki and the Espoo) which we use to share
practical information regarding the services (who is serving, possible changes of time, venue or even canceling like now)
urgent prayer requests of members (no small talk, no discussions, and do not post links - if are not sure, ask the administrators of the group before you post something)
If you are not yet connected to one of these groups, send an email with your full name, the worship service you are attending (Helsinki or Espoo) and your phone number to
To sign up for the newsletter, access information on events and much more we encourage you to join our member's portal called ChurchSuite. If you have not yet signed up, send an email with your full name and the service you are typically attending to email@example.com.
Finally, we ask you to continue supporting the ministry of the IEC financially. 75% of our giving comes from individuals who give regularly (typically monthly) through the bank. This is such a blessing! Now would be a good opportunity to start giving regularly if you are not yet doing so. How?
Decide how much you want to give monthly
Place a standing order with your bank to International Evangelical Church in Finland
IBAN: FI75 2022 1800 0211 21 (ref. no. 61104)
If you prefer to give through your mobile phone and are using the MobilePay app, you can give by sending the amount you want to give to 39522. Thank you!
I like what the Finnish president Sauli Niinistö said the other day: "As we are taking some distance physically, let us move closer to one another spiritually." Let us do that boldly as followers of Christ and members of His body!
God bless & protect you,
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” - Psalm 91:1-2