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

I love the psalms and I thought we might spend a few days looking at some of them.

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The 
Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh—my adversaries and foes—
they shall stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me,
yet I will be confident.

One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the 
Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.

Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, Lord, do I seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!
10 If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.
12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they are breathing out violence.

13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

As I write this today lots of teenagers will be opening their exam results. If they haven’t got the grades they were hoping for how is that going to make them feel? Are they going to think they’re a failure!

How would you describe yourself?

Ordinary, normal, average, lonely, confused, hurting, overlooked, little, not newsworthy, forgotten? People who feel insignificant are people who matter to God! I think it follows that if they matter to God then they must matter to us.

There’s a little phrase in scripture which describes you and me as ‘the apple of God’s eye.’ The Bible speaks a lot about God having a particular plan and purpose for each one of us. I love the verse in Isaiah which says that our name is written on his hands. Have you ever done that when there was something really important that you didn’t want to forget?

Perhaps in the eyes of the world we might appear to be average and ordinary and maybe even seen as a failure – perhaps when you got up this morning that was how you felt? But that is never how God sees us.

God won’t ever disregard us. In fact it was the seemingly ordinary people that he chose to use and through them he accomplished amazing things.

Jesus came into this world as a very ordinary baby, with the most common of names, to a couple no-one had heard of who belonged to the very lowest group in society.

Think of people in the Bible who God used but would have been written off because of issues people would have felt would hold them back.

Abraham was too old.

Gideon was timid.

Isaac couldn’t focus and spent most of his time daydreaming.

Jacob was a liar.

Joseph was abused…falsely accused…and ended up with a criminal record.

A whole lot of people were too young…Timothy for one.

David had an affair…and murdered the lady’s husband.

Elijah was depressed to the point of contemplating suicide.

Jonah ran from the call of God on his life. He was a whiner.

Naomi was a widow.

Job lost everything and went bankrupt.

Peter let Jesus down.

The Samaritan woman at the well was divorced…more than once.

Do any of those things resonate with you?

I like this modern translation of what Paul said to the Corinthians,

“Take a good look…I don’t see many of ‘the brightest and the best’ among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses?”

Moses seemed insignificant and ordinary. Maybe what he had to offer was insignificant and ordinary. But God looked and saw something nobody else saw and used it to do things nobody could possibly believe.

You are not insignificant. God takes joy in using ordinary people and ordinary things for extraordinary purposes.

Often it’s the things about us that seem insignificant that God uses for his purposes.

God values and loves us for who we are not for what we can do.

God isn’t limited by our past or our failures. He isn’t by our health, our education or lack of one

or even by our age!

All He needs is enough faith for us to say, “Here I am…use me!”

When He asked Moses to go and lead his people out of Egypt God told him to look at what he was holding in his hand – it was just a staff.

I wonder what ordinary things we have around. A pen, a hammer, a shovel, an iPad, a computer, a camera, a hobby or an interest, a van with a few empty seats, maybe you enjoy talking on the phone, meeting new people.

What’s in your hand?

Moses could have never imagined the power his insignificant staff would have when it became the staff of God.

It could be that God wants to use what’s already in your hand, as insignificant as it may seem, to reach people, to help someone in need, to sort out a problem.

…….and let’s keep all those young students and their families in our prayers today.

https://youtube/cVCAWRqHopQ

With effect from 15 June 2020 the Church will be open for private prayer.
It will be open on Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Only the Lady Chapel will be available. The toilet will be closed
Sanitizers will be available

On Tue, 24 Mar 2020, 12:41 Kathryn Hammond, <rev.kathrynh@gmail.com> 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</rev.kathrynh@gmail.com>

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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