29 March 2020: Hitting a moving target
Over the last week or more it has seemed that our plans for continuing Church life while we are all urged to stay at home change every day. When we started making plans we made arrangements to have the church open every day for individual prayer. Then we were told we could’t do that. After that we were told that not even the ministers should go to the church building to offer prayer.
What is happening now is that one of our priests records a service in their own home each week. This is then made available on the church website and people are encouraged to watch it at 10:30 on Sunday morning, which is when we would traditionally hold the main services in our church. If they can’t watch then they can, of course, watch at some other time.
We have established an email address list of those church members who are happy to be on it. This is used each Sunday morning to send out a revised weekly sheet. (See the picture above.) On one side is a reflection by one of the clergy. On the other are a short extract from one of the day’s set Bible readings, a homily by a member of our Ministry Team, a prayer and our usual list of those in need of prayer.
This morning my wife and I watched the first of the recorded services, which was the communion service from the Book of Common Prayer celebrated by our curate. We were able to follow it in our own copies. The aim for future weeks is for the person who wrote the homily to video it in his or her own home so that it can be included in the “sermon slot” in the service.
We are also keeping Morning and Evening Prayer going seven days a week, as many of us as can going through it in our own homes at 9 am and 5 pm each day.
On the practical front, the church has set up a dedicated email address through which people can contact us if they want help. We already have a list of those who would like regular contact, which we can update from time to time.
It is heartening that, through God’s grace, we can keep His Church active and worshipping in these times. I’m also giving thanks for the weather so far, which has made the restrictions easier for those of us who have gardens and those of us who can still get out for the walks we are allowed each day. I pray for safety for all and a secure future for all children.