Wow – what a week!
I was tempted to just leave my blog post with just those words….
Upfront I want to say that your faces are coming to my heart and mind on a constant basis (I’m horrible with names, so names seem to be coming secondary at the moment if at all). As they do, I am praying for you and I realise that this is an overwhelming time for most people.
Please pray. It is one definitive thing that we can and should never stop doing. If you don’t have the words then whatever version of the Lord’s Prayer that you know is a great place to start. It was the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples when they didn’t know what to pray.
One of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make (thankfully it was with the help of the wardens and some of our staff) was to close Sunday Worship. We did this on Wednesday. Subsequently the Archbishop has suspended public worship from Monday regardless of size. I had hoped we could keep our mid-week services running but we will, instead, be exploring ways we can safely gather as we move forward. But for the meantime we are frantically preparing to be ‘Online’ from this Sunday.
I am hoping a video will be available mid to late morning on Sunday but in future weeks we will have a service ready for you at your usual time of worship. Plan to have you lunch while going to church this Sunday! If you are able to, invite people you are in safe and regular contact with to join you, particularly if access to the internet or use of technology is a challenge for them. People who don’t normally go to church or who have stopped going to church might be looking for meaning, purpose and hope at the moment, so once the video is up on Sunday share it with as many people as you can.
I heard comedian Kate Langbroek (sister of a local state politician) who is in lockdown in Italy say on Chanel 10’s ‘The Project’ when asked what to do to survive this time said “If you don’t have a God you believe in find one fast”.
The word ‘Super-spreader’ is becoming new to our everyday vernacular. But what if followers of Jesus were Super-spreaders of a different kind? I wrote on Social Media this week:
“Self preservation & self focus is a dangerous virus. For the benefit of others followers of Jesus need to be as active as we possibly can within the bounds of common sense, medical advice & the gifts that God has given us.”
What we should be actively spreading is the character of God: hope, love, peace, compassion, understanding… I could go on but I hope you get the point. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus now more than ever.
This is not a time of isolation for the church – this is when and how the church comes to life in our world. I pray that you are not only praying for yourself, your loved ones and those impacted by the virus. I pray that we can ask God to show us ways we can continue to be ‘Jesus’ in our changing world. If you think of anything that our whole church can do let me know.
At the moment we have our Child Care Centre writing thank you cards to Medical staff in our hospitals. If you have children or are connected to them why not ask them to join us. The more cards the better!
Be assured of my continued prayers – we are beginning to make contact with you all so expect to hear from us soon!