Message from your Rector

Have you heard about the Church of England’s ‘Daily Hope’ phone line?

Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
More details on the CofE website:
https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-parishes/daily-hope-phone-line
Do please pass this information on to anyone who you think may be interested

Galatians 5:22-26
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws. Those who belong to Christ have nailed their natural evil desires to his cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Then we won’t need to look for honours and popularity, which lead to jealousy and hard feelings.

A man decided that life would be more fun if he had a pet. He went to the pet shop and told the man there that he wanted an unusual pet. After lots of discussion he finally bought a centipede which came in a white box. The man was so pleased with his centipede that he decided to go and visit his friend to show off his new pet. ‘Would you like to go to Franks with me’, he said to the centipede?
But there was no answer from his new pet. This bothered him a bit, but he waited a bit then asked him again. ‘Would you like to go out with me’. But again there was no answer from his new friend and pet. He waited a few more minutes then decided to ask him one more time, ‘Hey you in there, would you like to go around to Franks with me and have a drink?’ A little voice came out of the box, ‘I heard you the first time, I’m putting on my shoes’

We have already looked at the first three fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, & peace. And this morning we’ll look at patience. A virtue that is certainly needed in the situation we are all in at the moment but it’s so hard to produce in our lives.
There are lots of definitions of patience but this is my favourite one,
“Patience is a calm endurance based on the certain knowledge that God is in control.”
I think developing patience is difficult because it goes against human nature. We aren’t born patient, are we?
When a baby wakes up in the middle of the night and is hungry, or has a dirty nappy it doesn’t lie there and think, “I know Mum & Dad are tired. So I’ll just wait until a more convenient time to let them know that I need something to eat or have my nappy changed.” The baby cries and carries on crying until it gets the attention it demands. Children aren’t very patient. Have you ever travelled with a child? That can be quite an experience. A four year old boy was travelling with his mum and constantly asking the same question over and over again? “When will we be there? How much longer?” Finally, the mother got so irritated that she said, “We still have 90 more miles to go. So don’t ask me again when we’re going to get there.” The little boy was silent for a long time. Then he timidly asked, “Mum, will I still be four when we get there?”

“How do we develop love? How do we develop joy? How do we develop peace? How do we develop patience?” The answer is always the same, “Abide in Christ.”
Jesus, in John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man abides in me & I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
So it is important to receive the nourishment that only Jesus Christ can give. We can’t produce patience unless we’re abiding in Christ, unless we’re walking in His steps, unless we’re reading his Word, unless we’re growing in our prayer life,
And maybe we need to slow down and overlook the little frustrations of life. Has this situation helped you to do that or had the opposite effect? Do you get impatient with those making decisions on our behalf at the moment or are you praying for God to give them wisdom?

The Bible tells us that there are some things that we just can’t handle by ourselves and we never will without God’s help.
There is a lovely example of this in the Book of Exodus. Moses had led the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt and they were standing on the banks of the Red Sea. In front of them is this enormous body of water – behind them they could hear the sound of the Egyptian army. They are caught between a sea and an army out to get them. What do they do in an impossible situation?
What would you do in a situation like that?
They turned & cried out to Moses, “Moses, weren’t there enough graves in Egypt? You led us all the way out here to die in this God-forsaken place.” Then Moses speaks, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.”
And then Moses said, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”It’s so important to be still and wait on the Lord when it comes to those seemingly impossible situations because our God can handle it.
The story is told of an artist who went to visit an old friend. When he arrived, she was very upset. He asked why. She showed him a beautiful handkerchief that had great sentimental value, but which had been ruined by a spot of indelible ink.
The artist asked her to let him have the handkerchief, which he returned to her by post a few days later. When she opened the package she could hardly believe her eyes. The artist, using the inkblot as a base, had drawn on the handkerchief a design of great beauty. Now it was more beautiful and more valuable than ever.
Sometimes the tragedies that break our hearts can become the basis for a more beautiful design in our lives. Be patient with the hurts over which you have no control. In God’s hands they may even become a source of healing, help and beauty.

On Tue, 24 Mar 2020, 12:41 Kathryn Hammond, wrote:
It is with real regret that we have today had to close our church building to keep people safe.
Remember though that the Church is not the building it is the people.
God is with us through this very testing time and He hurts when we hurt and He understands how we feel.
Please keep in touch with me or with Rev Cathy with any concerns. We will be very happy to pray with you over the telephone or just talk with you.
I send my love and prayers for you to keep safe and well.
Rev Kathryn

CORONAVIRUS

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR OUR CHURCHES

We will be suspending public worship in all of our churches for the time being.
We want all our church buildings to be open for people to come and pray and find sanctuary.

Our clergy will be offering worship through daily prayer and the eucharist in our churches and some of these acts of worship will be recorded and sent to those able to access them.

Funerals will still take place in church with close family present and without organists or vergers.
We will offer services of thanksgiving at a later date for those who wish to do that.

Weddings and baptisms may still take place with very close family only.

Our church is still here – our clergy and church leaders are still here but most of all Since God is in her midst, she will not be shaken.

“Every hand we don’t shake must become a phone call we make,”

Every inch and every foot of distance we put between ourselves and another must become a thought about how we could help that other should the need arise.”

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