I trust that you are doing well and looking forward to a little easing up of lockdown. It has been wonderful to stagger seeing family and a friend, outdoors, and I see some more shops are preparing to open, so that those of you who like retail therapy will be getting your lists prepared!
I have enjoyed our telephonic conversations this week: it is fascinating to reflect on a different level of companionship by telephone. I find that we are introducing ourselves to each other by speaking of common interests, we would not have shared over a cup of coffee after a service. We have a rich and diverse congregation, and I am proud to be with you, and feel affirmed that God has called me here and that we will grow together, and through each other. The church worldwide is being encouraged to enjoy live streaming and watching online services. Our Episcopal Sunday services, conducted by our bishops, and the Thursday Service of the Word, on You Tube are wonderful examples of our church fellowship and diversity. Each service tells the story of its community and the Gaelic prayers and Our Father last week, were exquisite.
The Zoom video chat last Wednesday was heartening, as we are growing in numbers, and anticipate more this upcoming week. Let us encourage and help one another to join. The world which is emerging, phase by phase by phase, taxes us to acquire as many mediums of communication as possible.
We discussed 4 questions and I give them to you here and invite your feedback please. The questions invite us to probe the origins and development of our particular community, as well as our own personal involvement and evolution. (It is NOT a history lesson but a personal prayerful reflection!)
1. What stories formed our church community?
2. How has that story changed, or has it?
3. What are the anchors in our church community?
4. Why does the Episcopal presence matter in that story?
I have been asking you for cell phone numbers and will try to send a message to you weekly, using wassap if possible. It will be a bible verse or reference and prayer.
Livestreaming services are being encouraged by the Diocese, and church world – in fact the whole world. Judging from your response to last week’s service, I am seeking a way of recording a weekly service, and I need your help. My request is for someone to take the recorded video and post it on YouTube or Facebook. It does not have to be someone from church or even living in our district, but someone reliable and with that skill. Could you help?
I also encourage you to follow a link or two as listed, in your own time. I have taken it from the Resources page on the Diocesan website:
· The following link follows the line of thought in our 4 questions, on our place in the unique history of our church. Lutheran theologian Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber picks up on some of the themes we were exploring in the Diocesan Mini Conference and writes ‘when people ask me, “why are you still connected to the institution of the church?” I can only answer, “because I believe that scripture and theology and liturgy are too potent to be left in the hands of those who only use them to justify their dominance over another group of people”. I also believe that God is powerful enough to guide us in the dismantling of the evil that has been done in God’s name; that this is holy work and that God’s Spirit will accompany us. https://nadiabolzweber.com/
· Before we get ‘back to normal,’ we need to grieve and pray writes Methodist Bishop Scott Jones https://religionnews.com/2020/05/11/before-we-get-back-to-normal-we-need-to-grieve-and-pray/?
Covid 19 and Climate Change. If COVID-19 frightens you, you should be terrified by climate change. In this ‘Faith Seeking Understanding’ article, Daniel Horan writes: ‘If you don’t like the current reality of widespread illness, death, economic collapse and rolling lockdowns, then you should really direct your energies toward combating climate change.’ Instead of a ‘return to normal,’ let’s pursue a profound transformation by Elise D. García. Even before the pandemic, we understood that we were entering a make-or-break decade for humanity to act to avoid catastrophic climate change and global suffering. Now the call could not be clearer. (Did anyone follow the Michael Dowd ‘Post-Doom conversations in one of my earliest emails to you, in which Michael Dowd interviews people who are living, and thinking beyond the, ‘we have messed up the world irretrievably’, to rather, ‘this is what I think, and live up to in the world that has been messed, but, is full of hope and regeneration’. It’s on YouTube).
Our readings for tomorrow are: Genesis 18: 1 to 15. How surprising to ‘host’ angels in human form! Often we do not realise that presence until we prayerfully review our encounters. I wonder which angels and messages we could receive this week!
Psalm116: 1, 2 and 11 to 18. We are filled with love when Yahweh bends down to hear my prayer!
Romans 5: 1 to 8. Hardship develops perseverance, which develops character, and we receive hope, based in the love of God! Matthew 9: 35 to 10: 8. As the apostles were appointed, you and I are asked to be Christ unto others, responding to their need in practical and spiritual ways.
Be blessed as you are a blessing to others
Yours in Christ
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