Thursday 26th March 2020
Last Sunday felt strange. Knowing folk were worshipping at the same time but not in the same room was difficult to get my head round. I sat on my own praying & worshipping in church.
When I sang ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’ my voice echoed around the worship space. At the same time a group from High Street got together on Skype to worship. Many of you printed off the worship sheet and joined in wherever you were.
And yet we worshipped together. Just because we couldn't see each other face to face we were together. God was with us all as we prayed and sang in our lounges, kitchens, dining rooms and even if we were outside. It is comforting to know that even though we couldn't see each other face to face we were still connected by God.
In my letter last week I suggested how we will worship and care for each other over these coming weeks. This week I would like to tell you what we are going to do! (although there are one or two things are still emerging.)
Each Sunday morning at 10am we will worship together for 20-25 minutes. I will lead worship online for you to follow, along with a worship sheet for you to use. We have created a brand new website just for this. If you would like to join in please log on to here just before 10am. We are trying the facility to both live-stream worship and add your face to everyone else’s face who will be joining together. We’ll see how it goes! If you don't have access to the internet you will be able to use the worship sheet safe in the knowledge that you are joining with ‘your congregation’ in worship. For those unable to join in at 10am on Sunday the worship will be accessible on the website at any time after that point.
Over this past week we have also made sure that nearly every person on our pastoral lists will have someone who will contact them to check everything is ok. We also have a group of willing volunteers who are keen to help out in practical ways (i.e. shopping, picking up prescriptions etc.) If you have need of assistance please let us know and we will pass on your request. It’s at times like this that an important part of our Methodist heritage comes to fore as we ‘watch over one another in love’ - we purposefully look out for one another and those who are in need.
I had hoped that we could open our buildings up during the week for personal prayer. Due to the updated guidance given by the government and the Methodist Church we are unable to do this. As soon as we are able and it is safe to do so we will allow this to happen. Until that happens a group of people have decided that they are going to commit to pray every Tuesday morning from 9.30-10am each week in their homes. Maybe this is something you would like to do as well.
Finally thank you! Thank you for the messages of support I and the family have received over the past week or so. Thank you for looking out for one another. And thank you for embracing these different ways of being and doing church in uncertain and challenging times.
I’ll finish with a good Methodist hymn written by Rev Joseph Hart in 1759:
THIS, this is the God we adore, Our faithful, unchangeable Friend; Whose love is as great as his power, And neither knows measure nor end. 'Tis Jesus, the First and the Last, Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home; We'll praise him for all that is past, And trust him for all that's to come.
God bless you & your loved ones.