Priest's Blog ~ September 2020
Trinity 13: We have a blueprint for dealing with conflict.
Friends old and new, here we are this week beginning to take baby steps and reintroduce a Eucharist. It will not be the same as before COVID-19, there will be no singing of hymns, we will distribute the host at the chancel step and directly into your hands. I will not be permitted to come down into the nave for those who cannot come forward and everyone will need to continue to wear their face covering. Despite these new rules I hope you will find comfort and fellowship in receiving the body of Christ after so long and we are working with our bishops to ease restrictions when it is safe.
Our readings this morning give us tools to deal with conflict, both within the church and in our everyday lives. We have all been living during a stressful time, it is inevitable that conflict has become a problem for some of us. It was a problem for the disciples and Jesus gave us a pathway to reconciliation. I hope you will find it helpful as we negotiate the constant changes in the advice to keep us safe and well.
Keep doing what you have been and I hope to see you soon.
Trinity 14: Lord how often should I forgive? Matthew 18: 21-35
Friends old and new, we had our first, experimental communion last Sunday and it went well. People felt safe and cared for. When we looked at the calendar it became obvious that we had chosen the wrong weeks for the communion because so many of the festivals fell on the second Sunday of the month. So after discussion we have decided to move the Eucharist to the second and fourth Sunday each month from November 8th.
It is sad that from tomorrow we have to take a step back in our social lives and the 'rule of six' becomes law. This will be difficult for those who have larger families, for example, I will be able to see one of our daughters and her family but not the other. It may be that this rule will stay in place until Christmas. I want to assure you that Christmas will not be cancelled, we will keep the rules and keep safe by doing what we have done since the beginning of the lockdown. When we can't meet in person we will meet online, Ken is doing amazing work in producing a real opportunity to worship.
Stay safe and well.
Trinity 15: Lord how often should I forgive? Matthew 18: 21-35
Friends old and new, during the last few weeks we have looked at forgiveness firstly within the church, then at how often to forgive and today we look at God’s gift of forgiveness even for those who we don't believe deserve it. We need to challenge our sense of justice. We pray this week for our Jewish brothers and sisters as they celebrate their New Year, for all those in the northern regions who are in a local lockdown and for ourselves as we face the next few months with the possibility of more stringent rules to keep the virus under control. As we strive to “be the servant of all” keep up your spirits, love your neighbour and keep in touch with each other.
Trinity 16: Where does the authority lie?
Friends old and new, we have been remembering the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain this week and the enormous loss of young lives. Some of our congregation will have personal memories of the war and I would encourage you to record these for posterity. Our own stories are important and as I was making recordings this week, many of my own memories surfaced. One of my abiding memories will be of visiting Audrey and John both at St Michael's Hospital and then at home. Audrey had so much love for young people, it was clear to me that her ministry was to teach. As we lay her to rest in our Memorial Garden today I hope you will remember her and pray for John and all the family as they say their final goodbyes.