Weekly Update – Sunday 17th May 2020
from Revd Emma.
Christian Aid week
I wanted to begin by thanking you for your support and generosity for the Christian Aid week. In previous years we’vebeen able to give you some indication of how much we have raised locally – this year this is not possible, but I know many of you have given faithfully and whole-heartedly, so thank you.
Since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the lock-down measures that followed, the Parochial Church Council hasn’t been able to meet together in person, however, this Thursday we plan to meet using Microsoft Teams. We continue as a PCC to carry out business and to promote worship, mission, pastoral care, and outreach across our Parish. Please pray of for us as we meet using this new platform.
Services over the next two weeks are as follows:
Thursday 21st May is Ascension Day and so there will be Short Act of Worship at 10am.
On Sunday 24th May at 10am there will be a Short Act of Worship.
And on Sunday 31st May at 10am there will be a Pentecost Celebration with Holy Communion.
These services are available either on our Facebook page, or on our website: www.allsaintsdenmead.org.uk and www.facebook.com/allsaintsdenmead
Thy Kingdom Come
Beginning this Thursday (Ascension Day) and continuing through to Pentecost (Sunday 31st) the Church of England unites with Christians from all around the world, in a world-wide initiative called Thy Kingdom Come. During these eleven days we pray very specifically that men, women, and children will come to know God and His saving power and love.Now in past years we’ve been able to engage in various ways with this initiative– this year this isn’t possible – and so I’m suggesting that actually we keep it very simple and do exactly as we’re been asked... PRAY. Can I encourage you to pray for five people who you would love to see come to know God – His love, His acceptance, His healing, and forgiveness. Every day pray for them – name them before God and ask that God will be at work in their lives, by His Spirit in the most amazing way; that they might come to faith and trust in Jesus. I would also encourage you to pray the Lord’s Prayer each day – in praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ we’re committing to playing our part in the renewal of our nations and transformation of our community/parish.
To find out more please visit www.thykingdomcome.global
Looking further ahead...
Many have been asking me in recent weeks ‘when will the church building open again?’ ‘When can we go back to our services?’
Well my answer at present is I just don’t know!
As national restrictions have begun to change, a new group has been formed with representatives from the Church of England, the Catholic Church plus many more, to work with government in forming a plan that will allow church buildings to re-open as appropriate. Early indications suggest we may be able to open our building again on a limited basis in July – however it certainly won’t be a return to services as they were two months ago. Future services will be shorter, smaller in number and will have to adhere to social distancing and strict hygiene standards.
There is some suggestion that small Weddings (five people – bride, groom, two witnesses and me) may be able to return this Summer, but again this is only speculation at this point. For now, Funerals will continue to take place either at the graveside or at a local Crematoria. All other groups, activities and events remain suspended at present.
One change this week is that I am now allowed to re-enter the church building to pray on my own, and if desired stream/record services. However, I have decided that for now I will continue to stream Morning Prayer each day and record the Sunday services from the Vicarage. For me, it would feel wrong to be sat in church on my own while you all remain at home.
As national restrictions continue to change and evolve, the national church will be able to respond, which in turn will allow us to be creative and innovative – forming new patterns, services, activities and events that will allow God’s kingdom to grow and flourish in our parish.
Finally, I want to stress again, that our building may remain closed at present, and yes, this is incredibly frustrating and limiting - but more importantly, we are still God’s people; His beloved sons and daughters. We are chosen and commissioned to share the good news of His kingdom with our friends, families and neighbours in our words and deeds.
As I close, please be assured of my continued prayers during this turbulent time. I miss ‘physically’ seeing and sharing with you all. At any point if you would like to be in touch, for a chat or a prayer, or if you have questions that I may be able to answer, do ring the Vicarage on 023 9226 2647.
With every blessing,
Revd Emma Racklyeft