It feels strange to be writing a blog post about joining The Globe Church when it feels like I’ve been here forever! The year since I joined has been an incredible reminder of God’s provision in tough times and his grace in bringing his people together as brothers and sisters in Christ to strengthen and support one another.
Rewind to July 2020, I had just moved from my parents’ home in New Malden (the home of amazing Korean BBQ and really not much else) to a flatshare in Battersea. To be honest, moving out had been a bit of a disappointment. I hadn’t been prepared for how isolated I would feel, away from my family, home church, and local friends. Battersea is basically bandit country when it comes to public transport (at least by London standards), so getting people to visit was a challenge. And although I could watch services from my home church online, I was really struggling to stay connected without seeing my church family in person.
So when friends invited me to try Globe with them I leapt at the chance to attend an actual in-person service. I had no idea what to expect, but from the minute I walked in the door I felt so welcomed. We were spaced out and masked but there was a real buzz in the room; it was clear that everyone there was excited to be able to worship together. The teaching was gospel-centred and practical. And at the end of the service, we were offered takeaway containers of food to bring to the park to eat and share fellowship. I met so many people that evening who were intentional in seeking out newcomers and getting to know them. It was an incredible witness to the joy and blessing of being welcomed into a church family and I knew I had to come back.
In the end, it was joining the Newcomers Group which really persuaded me to make Globe my permanent church family. We would meet every Thursday evening to share a meal and get to know one another as we studied God’s word. Micah and Laura, who lead the Newcomers Group, went out of their way to make the evenings so fun and it was helpful to spend time with other people who were new too. Even when we moved into harsher restrictions in the winter, with only six people allowed to meet outside, we continued to gather in small groups in Hays Galleria, wrapped in layers and layers of warm clothes and occasionally attracting some strange looks as we sat around with our Bibles!
In October, I was excited to hear there would be a Globe Getaway. Because of social distancing rules, we had to split into groups of six and meet in different people’s homes, but it ended up working really well. Each group was given a “mystery box” which contained all of the supplies we needed to take part in the team games which were to take place over Zoom, allowing the whole church to be connected even while we were physically separated. We had wonderful teaching from Adrian Reynolds, who preached on Colossians 2. He reminded us that continuing in Christ involves being rooted, built up and strengthened in him. The day was a fantastic opportunity to meet people and encourage one another, as well as having a lot of fun with some silly games and sharing incredible food (if you’ve ever tried Emma’s chorizo dish then you know what a treat that was!). It’s going to be even more exciting this year when we can all be together in one place!
2021 has been a year of some real highs and real lows. But through that, I have been loved, prayed for, and supported by my church family. Looking back, it is possible to see how God has used particular struggles to draw his children closer together. My prayer is that as we come out of restrictions we won’t come to take physical fellowship with our church family for granted and that in the excitement of being around old friends, we will remain intentional in welcoming newcomers with open arms, forming deep friendships through which we reflect Christ’s love and glorify God.