Newsletter 19th April

 

 

Second Sunday of Easter

Dear friends, how was your Easter? We hope you enjoyed celebrating in worship and prayer, as well as with lots of Easter eggs, food and sunshine!

Worship this week

Our worship service on Easter Day was well attended – the Zoom meeting showed 33 faces on 18 screens! Here’s a screenshot taken by Justin part-way through.

We’re hoping to make it a regular event, at 10:15 every Sunday. Now there’s a novelty!

There’s no limit to the number of people who can join in; not even the number we could cram into Church. So why not join us? Here’s how:

On your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone, download Zoom. If you’re in a search engine such as Google, just type ’zoom’ and you’ll get a result saying ‘download’. Or just click this link.

Then in Zoom, click on ‘join’ and you’ll be prompted for the meeting details. They’re the same as last week:

Meeting number 474-970-7143

Password 2820.

And you’re bound to remember 10:15, as that’s when we always meet. If not, remember John 10:15 ‘The Father knows me and I know the Father – I lay down my life for the sheep’ and Romans 10:15: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news’. See you on Sunday!

Daily Morning Prayer – a programme of readings and prayer for each day was included in last week’s Newsletter. The Clergy will be saying Morning Prayer at home using the sheet at 10am each day; join us then, or may the Lord bless you whenever you say yours.


Hayward’s Hope - Revd Sarah Hayward continues to post videos on her YouTube channel – see them here, including an Easter message with puppets!

 

Spring HarvestFollow this link to loads of videos of worship, teaching, seminars, Q&A sessions – even comedy. Spring Harvest lasted 4 days this week, and there are so many videos online it could take you 4 days to watch them all!

 

Ray’s Easter Message – it’s still online here.

 

Offerings – Justin, our Treasurer, tells us that he has received more Standing Order forms. Thank you to all who are still contributing to our costs!

Keep to the rules

Do as we’re told - It’s so very important that we all heed the Government’s advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. The sooner this horrible time is over, the sooner we’ll get back to meeting in the Church building!

Out of bounds – It’s really painful that we can’t meet in Church. In fact, the rules are that we can nominate only one person to enter, for security purposes – and that person is Lesley, who even has to keep a record of when she enters! We can’t even wind the clock, which would take only one person but it would need a second person to be in attendance for safety reasons. And the Churchyard, like Colchester Cemetery, is now closed for all purposes. However, we have decided to keep the path through to Bolsin Drive open. Please respect the rules!

Keeping in touch

WhatsApp – St. Michael’s now has a WhatsApp Group. Get the news first - join us on your smartphone! The number of members on the group is growing; respond to this email and tell us your mobile number, and we’ll add you.

 

Thanks from Colin & Bev – we have received this lovely thank-you note from Colin and Bev Turner, who moved to be nearer to family last month after many years of faithful ministry at St. Michael’s and in the community. Here’s what they say:

Dear all, thank you for our cards and monetary gift received with gratitude as we moved away from Colchester. We plan to put the money towards our new garden projects later in the year, which will serve as a reminder of our time in fellowship with you all.

We were sorry not to get to say a proper goodbye on our last Sunday but we were already trying to keep away from all germs for the task ahead. The piano has survived the move well and is in good use as we try to get through this period of isolation. We think of you all often, and pray God’s blessing and protection around you all at this time.

With our love, thanks and prayers, Colin & Bev. XX

Never feel alone – if you haven’t had a call from a Church member very recently, why not call one right now? Leaders are calling as many people as they can, but don’t let them do all the work!

 

And finally…. a reflection

Revd Hazel Greenland on Psalm 46

Sitting outside this week, enjoying the sunshine and eating my lunch, I noticed a beautiful, Peacock butterfly. This delicate creature was fluttering around the garden; flitting and darting, ducking and diving, searching for nectar from the spring plants which are just appearing in the garden.

The butterfly was restless; not settling anywhere for long. Then quite suddenly it came to rest on the patio in front of me. It stretched out its wings and for a moment just sat there perfectly still and soaked up the sun. How wonderful, I thought.

The butterfly reminds me of me! Sometimes I just can’t seem to settle to anything; I am bothered inside, unsettled and my thoughts are darting all over the place. Whereas at other times I am perfectly peaceful, I can sit and soak up the sun of God’s love.

Psalm 46 is helping many of us in this moment of tumult. It certainly feels as if the earth is being shaken. And yet we have the promise that in the middle of it all “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge”, so that we can spread out the wings of our heart, soak up the warmth of God’s love, we can receive God’s invitation to “Be still, and know that I am God.”

But the butterfly also challenges me. By flitting from one flower to the next in search of nectar, it reminds me that many are in dire need because of this crisis. Many are flitting and darting, fearful of how they might pay bills or buy food. Because we know that we are in this together, let us not forget our neighbour in need, let us do what we can to help, so that all can “Be still” and at peace.

Yours in His name,

 

Ray, Hazel, Sarah, John, Lesley, Jill, Sarah

 

Also attached is the Easter Newsletter in the form of a Prayer Diary for you at home.

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