Yesterday we had a really good online coffee morning and chat with a crowd of people joining in. We shall do it again in a couple of weeks.
Worship on Sunday takes the form of a Songs of Praise in which a number of members of the churches of the Circuit have participated. I also have included rainbows created by some of the children from the churches around the circuit. You can download it in the usual manner, from YouTube, by going to the Worship page of this website. Please remind your friends who do not have smartphones, ipads or computers, that they can listen on the telephone. Details of the telephone number are on the Worship page of the website.
We continue keeping on with what we are doing in the manner that we are doing it. There is no sign of any significant changes to the regime which would make very much difference to the way in which the church is operating at the moment. The Methodist Connexional Team is guiding us as we move forwards. They have indicated that we continue to heed the Government guidelines for churches and to consider carefully the needs and risks involved in reopening places of worship. At this point, we do not anticipate making any changes to our own guidance until after the meeting of the Methodist Conference which takes place between June 25 and July 2.
If either you, or someone known to you, has a need with which you think I may be able to help, then please do get in touch with me. I know that our established pastoral systems are working well and that you are all looking out for each other. I am especially appreciative of the work being done by our Church Stewards, Pastoral Secretaries and Pastoral Visitors to keep in touch with all our church members and friends.
During our online coffee morning it was suggested that some people would like to maintain their financial support of the churches of the Circuit. This is appreciated and to be encouraged. Our income has pretty much dried up although we continue to have expenses. Please consider sending your collection into the treasurer of the church you normally attend. If you don't already pay by standing order or direct payment from your bank, then please consider doing so as it is by far the most efficient way to make a donation at the moment. Contact the Treasurer of your local church for further details, or contact me if you are not sure who that is.
It has been quite a weeks since things were 'normal'. There is a sense in which how things now are have become the new normal. Let's take a breath. Ask yourself what you need to remind yourself of today. Remember the people, the places, the things that you do that are a blessing. Remember the people, the places, the situations for whom and within which you are a blessing.
Do you remember that back in March I shared this poem, written by Kitty O'Meara, which was created for this time:
And the people stayed home.
And read books,
and made art,
and played games,
and learned new ways of being,
and were still.
And listened more deeply.
Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant,
and heartless ways,
the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed,
and the people joined together again,
they grieved their losses,
and made new choices,
and dreamed new images,
and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully,
as they had been healed.
The Rev Dr Adrian Burdon
Shaw & Royton Circuit of the Methodist Church