Dear Church Friends,
Last Monday the URC Synod Moderators issued guidance on the re-opening of church buildings. I will attach the complete document to the alternative notices email for those who wish to read it in full. The following is a short extract:
“The Moderators want to urge continued caution, both in the timing for re-opening and what happens afterwards. Information is still being gathered about how new variants are spreading and whether people who have been vaccinated spread the virus. The pandemic is not over and neither shall it be for some time yet.
The decision to re-open must properly be made by Elders’ Meetings, considering the regulations/restrictions in place, local prevalence of the disease and pressures on the NHS, and measures in place to control risk of infection both in the church and the grounds.
Even if/where it is permitted, we urge churches to consider carefully whether they should open as soon as Easter Day, unless the current improvements are sustained and the risks are properly assessed and managed. Rather, we suggest that Pentecost may be a better time to consider as a point for the resumption of in-person worship, subject to a number of important conditions being met……...”
The Elders will discuss the guidance and I will keep you informed of any decisions. If you have any views about a possible date of re-opening that you would like the elders to consider, please send details to me at email@example.com
The Gift Aid Secretary Peter P has asked me to include the following:
“The Church would like to thank the Church members for their continued financial support during these difficult times. Many of you have delivered your envelopes to my home ( 39 Kingsway Ansdell). I can always collect the envelopes from you, just give me a ring ( 736325).
I will be delivering the new envelopes for 2021-22 in the next couple of weeks. If anyone would like to join the Envelope Scheme please let me know. ” Peter
What sort of a week have you had?
It’s Mothering Sunday tomorrow. Happy Mothering Sunday to you. This is a day to rejoice and be thankful. The poem by Iris Hesselden sums it up, as we remember our Mothers, Mother Earth and our Mother Church. We may not be able to gather together in person, but we can all unite in spirit and thank God for our blessings.
In spite of the poor weather this week, the signs of spring multiply each day. Swathes of daffodils can be seen everywhere tossing their yellow heads in the wind. It makes one feel good to see them. Every week, a view of the natural world lifts us up and helps our mental health. No doubt the ‘early’ birds have started building nests and preparing to bring new life into the world. The other day we saw a female blackbird with its beak full of nesting material, so it’s all happening!
In 2016 I read of a hospital that placed video screens above the patients’ beds. The screens took their viewers on virtual walks along the coastlines and through dappled forests. Earphones played bird-song, sounds of the sea and the rustling of leaves completed the experience. Apparently, the heightened sense of tranquillity eased pain and promoted recovery. I don’t know whether anything similar using mobile phones/tablets or any other means of communication is in use today, but no doubt those in hospital with coronavirus would benefit from a connection to the natural world. Most of the rest of us can enjoy the original versions of the therapy which are all out there for us to see and hear. We thank the Lord for his wonderful world.
In Long Bay Regional Park in New Zealand there is a 12 feet high ornamental picture frame. What does it frame? Nothing – except for a view of the bay and the park. You don’t need a frame to enjoy the view but looking through it focuses the attention and enhances your enjoyment of the scenery even further.
Final chance to order your Real Easter Eggs from Janet Sherwood today.
Eggs are available in dark chocolate (£5.50) and milk chocolate (£4.50) – just call or email Janet on 01253 739195 or firstname.lastname@example.org with your orders and work out between you a suitable way of delivery.
The Leprosy Mission Unconditional Love Appeal – Final Week
Thank you so much to all those who have donated to the appeal so far. Will anyone else who wishes to contribute to this wonderful cause please contact Linda on 640359 by Friday 19th March. To date, cheques to the value of £564 have been received, which will be matched by the U.K. government to make £1128.
There is a West Partnership Online Communion/Coffee Morning on Tuesday 16th March 10am
Please join Daleen for an act of worship and fellowship around the coffee table. Please contact Daleen for the Zoom link.
A reminder of the Zoom links for the various gatherings:
Partnership Coffee Morning – Wednesdays 10:30am https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81166484469?pwd=MEgvU0FlelFlRC9mU0pVUnRhRG5pQT09
Sunday Morning Worship – Sundays 10:30am
Lent Bible study – Wednesday 3pm
I have read that at Fish Hoek Beach near Cape town in South Africa a chalkboard was erected for locals and visitors to write on. Someone wrote: “The first to apologise is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest and the first to forget is the happiest.”
Some more ‘Can you remember ‘eating’ in the Fifties?’
A takeaway was a mathematical problem.
Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time.
Rice was a milk pudding and, never ever, part of our dinner.
Brown bread was something only poor people ate.
Only Heinz made beans.
None of us had ever heard of yogurt.
Seaweed was not a recognised food.
Pineapples always came in chunks in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one.
Let us pray
On this Mothering Sunday we give thanks for our Mothers, Mother Earth and Mother Church. All three provide us with love, encouragement and comfort. We ask you to be with those who have lost their mother in the last year and give them strength to cope at this difficult time. We pray for those facing challenges in the coming week and ask for Your blessing on them. Help us to reach out to others and support them in any way we find possible. With your help all things are possible. Guide us with Your steady hand, shape us with Your loving spirit and comfort us with Your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Psalm 121 will give comfort to those who need it.
Please join me in saying the Grace together.
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen
God Bless you all