Newsletter 24th April

 

 

Third Sunday of Easter

Another week in lockdown – how are you coping? We’re hearing many varied stories, including people who have the rare opportunity to enjoy the warm and sunny weather, and those who are stuck indoors and can’t get into the sun. Our Church Prayer List is quite long, though it seems most of us are in good health and spirits. But we’re hearing two comments most often. The first is that we’re missing seeing our loved ones so much, especially grandchildren; the other is that we’re missing hugs. So let’s take the trouble to tell one another we love each other, until this social distancing is a distant memory!

 

Worship this week

Our Zoom service is becoming more popular. We had 21 screens with 38 people last Sunday; can we beat that this Sunday morning?

Join us using the same numbers as before:

Meeting number 474-970-7143

Password 2820.

If you’re new to Zoom, click this link to download it, or ring us for help. 

The service starts promptly at 10:15 and will be over by 11am.  

When we see screens pop up with friendly faces, it’s just as if we are all standing at the back of Church welcoming one another – and it stays just as friendly throughout.

 

Daily Morning Prayer – The next issue of our Morning Prayer with daily readings begins on 1st May and takes us through to Ascension; it will be with you in time for you to start on May Day!

Prayers for use during the Coronavirus outbreak – The Church of England has published a very good booklet of prayers which are available online here.

News this week

Happy Birthday – to Mick Brown, who celebrated his 82nd birthday on 23rd April. Be prepared to sing Happy Birthday on Sunday!

WhatsApp gets busier – Several people have joined the conversations this week, updating us on news, seeking prayer or having fun and even taking part in quizzes! Two comments made today: ‘We are loving being part of this group. Every day checking the messages is a joy’. ‘I think it’s helping us all to cope with a really strange world so thank you everyone for being there’. Just respond to this email telling us your mobile number and we’ll add your name to the group.

Boris joins us on WhatsApp – No, not our recovering PM, but Boris, the workplace mascot helping out Christine Brown’s colleagues. Here he is, doing the shopping. Thank you, Christine!

Hayward’s Hope – Don’t forget to check in with Sarah and family’s YouTube channel here. We’re looking forward to hearing from them in Sunday’s service.

Light a candle – We know of people who are suffering bereavement right now, and all the more deeply as they are apart from family and friends. The Church of England’s website includes an opportunity to pray and light a ‘virtual candle’; click the bar at the end of this newsletter to visit the page.

 

Keeping in touch

How do you do it? - We’re sure you have a list of people you phone/email/facetime/? regularly. We could vow to add another person to it every week.

We can’t deliver sermons through letterboxes like the Vicar on the left, but we could do Morning Prayer from the Daily Sheet with a friend over the phone!

 

If you have any news to tell us, do respond and we can include it in next week’s email. There’ll also be an opportunity to share news during Sunday’s service.

And finally…. a reflection

Revd Hazel Greenland:

“Things will not always be as they are now …”

Isaiah 65: 17- 25

I can hear you saying Amen to that! Thank goodness things will not always be as they are now. We have to hope in life returning to normal again, don’t we? But what kind of normal do we want to see?

One of the benefits of life as we are coming to know it, is that creation is healing. We can hear the birds clearer than ever, we can see clear blue sky, the smog is lifting. You can see the Himalayas from India 100 miles away; something you haven’t been able to do for decades. Sea-life is returning to the waters of Venice, goats are taking over Llandudno! Air pollution levels have almost halved in some cities.

But this improvement has come at huge cost; at the expense of thousands of human lives and of millions of people who have lost their jobs. Surely this isn’t the way that we want to allow creation to heal and to continue to enjoy the benefits of clearer skies!

Pope Francis, speaking to mark Earth Day, calls us to renew our own commitment to care for creation and the weaker members of our human family. He called for a renewed sense of “sacred respect for the earth”. Being made in the image of God means “we are called to have care for and respect all creatures, and to offer love and compassion to our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable.” By doing so we are demonstrating God’s love for us. By doing so we build God’s kingdom here on earth.

When this is all over – what kind of normal do we want to see?

Yours in His name,

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