It is very hard not to become overwhelmed by the news. Be under no illusions, we are in the midst of the most alarming global pandemic. Churches will not be open this Easter, or for the foreseeable future. The doors must remain firmly closed until such time as we can safely reopen .Our meetings must remain “virtual” but we are very fortunate to have in Chris Musther and Phil Woodcock, the expertise to enable this to happen and for that we are extremely grateful. Again this Sunday from 10 am on the church website there will be another short service for you . If you are not there at 10 am don’t worry as it will still be available on the website after that time.
Don’t forget also that this weekend the clocks go FORWARD one hour.
We have asked people to let us know if they have good news or any encouragement that they can share with us rather than focussing on gloomy news . Please do continue to do this and we can share it with our church family.
One particular encouragement this morning was this passage that someone had posted on Facebook. It is good to be reminded of this when we feel lost and frightened.
Gay of our congregation also shared the following encouragements:
Within a few hours of being told I needed to stay at home, a neighbour about four doors away called to offer help. Later three other near neighbours did.
Then there was the S17 special help flyer that was delivered followed three days later by another, each with two names on; all very near on this road. Eight lots of phone numbers, and that is without the ones we have been sent from church.
I wish just some of this could be directed to other places who have not had such offers, like my sister, widowed and also alone at home.
Then there were the lovely Mothering Day flowers from our church family and the words from Romans. I was really overwhelmed when I opened the door. I am sure all who also received them felt the same.
Later that day I watched the video service that my son in law, Rector of Holy Trinity, Rayleigh compiled with our daughter, Christina. They had planned it for the children with their four dogs taking part and fetching different things that mothers do for their children. (They had to go home to do the part that needed to include the elderly Great Dane who was self-isolating!!) Christina concluded with remembering her time spent as a helper at Whirlow Farm and the sheep that wanted to please themselves, either because they panic or because they think they know better. You can see it by going to the church web site. David also videos live morning prayer each morning, with a static congregation including toy replica of their Bassett Wilma. He has begun little video clips of
The adventures of Naughty Wilma most days, an amusing little relaxation from the emergency planning that he is part of locally.
On Sunday, I lit my candle and prayed for the world and sent a photo of it to 10 friends around the world, so they knew I was thinking and praying for them also. The reciprocal messages especially from Santiago in Chile and Santa Monica also in lockdown have emphasised the Oneness of God’s world.
Again we were sent the following piece which is posted on our Facebook page which looks at our current situation from a different perspective.
When you go out and see the empty streets, the empty stadiums, the empty train platforms, don’t say to yourself, “It looks like the end of the world.”
What you’re seeing is love in action. What you’re seeing, in that negative space, is how much we do care for each other, for our grandparents, for our immunocompromised brothers and sisters, for people we will never meet.
People will lose jobs over this. Some will lose their businesses. And some will lose their lives. All the more reason to into the emptiness and marvel at all of that love.
Let it fill you and sustain you. It isn’t the end of the world. It is the most remarkable act of global solidarity we may ever witness.
(Credit to Paul Williams)
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
We are trying to keep in touch with people by phone if they are not on e mail and were hoping to deliver this information to them but under current restrictions this is rather difficult so we may have to send this via the mail system as we can walk by the post box as part of our daily walk. Please can we urge you also to keep in touch with other church members as you are able, especially those who live alone and are vulnerable.
Please remember each other in prayer too . Sadly over the next week or two ,it is expected that the peak of the virus will be reached so please pray that this not overwhelm our NHS . Pray also for our government and their medical advisors as they make decisions that would have been unimaginable only a few months ago. Please remember also all those key workers and thank God for them and the dedication. And finally pray for ourselves that we will lean on the promise of Gods everlasting love for us ,no matter what our circumstances.
Please take care and stay safe.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.