Back to the Future (part V)
You may well be wondering, given the various media and government announcements over the past week, what is going to happen regarding opening up our church buildings for Sunday worship, weddings and funerals. As I write, we are still awaiting the National Church’s “take” on the government guidance for all places of worship issued on Mon 29th June. At a first glance, a fairly succinct summary of this would be “no, no, no, maybe, no, not many, and….probably not”. Our local situation is going to be coloured by whether or not the Bishop of Oxford permits the over 70’s to resume front line ministry. Handwashing features prominently in the guidance, so it is likely that churches with these facilities will be able to open ahead of those without. Wardens and ministers will have to make an assessment of the numerical capacity of their buildings for a “socially distanced” act of worship. As I said last week, we will not rush this, PCCs and ministers will consult, and safety considerations will be paramount. Please don’t think of it as a journey “back to normal”. There is no going “back” until a vaccine for Covid is widely available, and the “normal” that we face in the meantime is anything but. What we can say with confidence is that we are on a journey, with faith in God and confidence in His resourcing. Our church community is something very real and tangible, whether we meet in person in a building, or wave online across the ether(net). This is a precious gift.
There are several quiet evening service options now available for you midweek. These are a lovely chance to pray and reflect; Compline is a much loved service in the anglican tradition, arising from the monastic offices. It is a short service of about fifteen minutes for the very end of a day when we turn to rest and commit ourselves into the hand of God for the night hours. Everyone is very welcome – just “join meeting” on zoom at the appointed hour, and enter the relevant numbers.
Evening Prayer with Revd John 5pm 410 935 129 and 028369
Compline (Night Prayer) with Revd Linda 8.30pm 836 9003 0408 and 812882
Compline with Revd John 8pm 726 350 423 and 005873
Sunday Worship for 5th July.
Welcome to the worship choices for you this coming Sunday. Our services are all on the “zoom” platform. Download the program from https://www.zoom.us You can use a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. The numbers below are the meeting numbers, and passcodes, for each service.
Service of the Word with Revd John 10am 188 513 761 and 019797 A Service with prayers and readings.
Open Door Service with Rev Linda 10am 840 1852 3058 and 910491 An informal service for all ages.
Morning Prayer with Revd Kevin 11am 636 645 195 and 000162. A reflective service with hymns, and prayers.
As ever, family members are very welcome to join with us. Sunday’s gospel reading from Matthew features the verse from Chapter 11:28, which is timely for us all: “Come to me, all you weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
May the peace of Christ be with us all.