Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 28th July

Happy Holidays

Dear Friends,

I hope that you are making the most of any chances to rest a little over the coming weeks. All the pointers are that it is going to be a “difficult” autumn as businesses and service providers try to juggle client and staff safety with grim looking balance sheets and a virus that really has not “gone away”. Its hard to say this, but, please, don’t lose your concentration if you are lucky enough to be able to be away, or visit distant family. Covid-19 knows nothing of “needing a break”. It just needs exposure to you. So, whether you have a private island in the Caribbean, or are just sitting it out in “Lake Garden”, take care. Say your prayers, love one another.

Church councils across the Team are wrestling with the issues involved in possibly reopening some of our churches – there are issues of safety, capacity, and wider use. I reiterate that we are under no pressure at all from the Bishop of Oxford to reopen, but he is very wisely urging the priority of safety, and proper consideration of the unique conditions presented by each church. If you’d like to hear what the Bishop has to say about our situation, please do listen to the first three or four minutes of his recent podcast, which you can find here. (The remainder of the talk is also very good, too – it is a Bible Study.) Here in the Team I will let you know as and when anything definite emerges as the various councils meet over the summer. Of course the recent holiday surges of cases in various parts of Europe may well impact our discussions too.

Sunday Worship for the 2nd of August

This Sunday’s worship options are hosted by Revd John,  and Revd Kevin. Our service from Woodcote will be led this week by Caroline Older. You will need the zoom app installed on your device (laptop, tablet, phone or PC) – download from https://www.zoom.us.  Just before the appointed time, run the app, click on “join meeting” and enter the meeting number and passcode below for the service you wish to attend.

A Service of the Word with Revd John  10am        188 513 761 and 019797         Readings, and prayers, to start the day with God.

Open Door Service with Caroline  Older 10am     818 0144 8063  and 533072    Everyone is welcome to this friendly service exploring the Christian faith.

Morning Praise with Revd Kevin  11am       636 645 195  and 000162.     A short service with hymns and a talk, and a chance to chat.

Family and friends are welcome to join us. It is a great way to stay in touch.  There are also midweek service options available on Wednesdays and Fridays in the evening. Do check out the worship pages on the Team Ministry website for full details.

Its difficult to take a collection during an online service (!) but you can support Woodcote or Checkendon churches via their dedicated and secure card donation pages if you wish, at any time.

Inspiration

Part of the joy of a holiday is the chance to be inspired by a change of scene. For many of us that just won’t be possible this year, perhaps because our travel plans have been dashed, or because a loved one is at higher risk and so cannot venture out. Don’t despair. There are new things to be discovered even in the most familiar of places. One of the unexpected joys of not being able to worship in church is the inclusivity that zoom services offer to the housebound or those for whom access to a church building is difficult. There is also the “holiday” from fixed (printed) patterns of worship, and the freedom the internet allows to share video, or musical discoveries.

We enjoyed the song “Sing Gently”  last week, by possibly the largest ever online choir. The video reminded us vividly of the power of music and singing to bring people together and overcome many of the boundaries of race and ethnicity that threaten to consume us. Let us pray that the songs we sing will be all the better, and more joyful, once this terrible virus has been defeated.

Your Rector              Revd Kevin

St Mark: “What’s that frame thingy you’re wearing?” St Peter: “Its PPE. You’ve all got to get one.”

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