New Year Pastoral Update
This comes with greetings in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord who came to be with us here on earth – may your new year be blessed with the assurance of his presence, peace and joy as together we put our hope in him for the year ahead ..…”So we do not lose heart” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
There is nothing quite like the start of a new year to re-focus our thinking, and a further national lockdown serves us well in this regard; our own personal plans are again needing to be reviewed and adapted, along with those of our local community and national leaders. As the worshipping people of God at All Saints Highertown, we are not exempt from this. So along with blessings, with this letter comes a question – how are you and what are you hoping for this year?
Being unable to meet as a whole church community means these natural conversations over coffee are not possible, but they are necessary none the less and your perspective on what is helpful during these challenging times is important. Therefore, as we again seek to be flexible and respond to these new circumstances and this new strain of virus, you are invited to share your own thoughts on what is/would be helpful as we seek to be faithful disciples of Christ serving each other and our neighbour. So that your position can be considered as we navigate the next few months and beyond, you are invited to email our Lay Minister, Debbie Mitchell, who has kindly agreed to coordinate the responses (firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can write to Jeremy at the vicarage address attached, it would be heartening to hear from you.
Joff, our Social Justice Missioner has also produced for your use a summary, attached, of winter support available during this difficult time. As the information is changing continually, if there is a specific need that you are aware of within our community please do not hesitate to ring him (mobile: 07772836646).
I’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the spiritual resources in place that you may find helpful. This week we return to our pattern of online midweek prayer meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday (via Zoom), and daily morning prayer will be available through our phone line service (01872 306996), details of these can be found on the newsletter and website.
During this period of lockdown we will only be meeting for worship online until we are clearer on how virulent this new strain of the virus is, and how we can ensure the safety of all those visiting the church. During January and February our Sunday service will be online only, starting at 2pm via our website, youtube and facebook channels. This service will be followed by a time to share a coffee and a chat using Zoom online.
Again, please let me re-iterate how important it is that we continue to have conversations together so I really do hope to hear from you, whether on matters you consider small or significant.
To close, in God may you find “the grace and growth you need for fruit and fullness, and the love that will last you through the long haul of a ‘lived-for-others life’. May peace be yours.” (Extract from The Blessing – G.Kelly)
Yours in Jesus
Jeremy, Debbie, Janette and Patrick.