Paula's letter 25th March 20

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Paula Hunt

March 25th, 2020

Dear Friends

Things are changing very quickly, aren't they? I had just finished this week's letter when I was notified that churches must close completely, and not even open for prayer, so now I must re-write it.

It is beginning to feel like Holy Saturday (the day after Good Friday), when Jesus was in the tomb, and the disciples were alone and grieving. They could not have imagined what was around the corner, and must have felt that everything was lost.

On days like these, we have a sure reason for hope — the Christ who was raised on Easter Day is living now, and his resurrection life is still surprising us. I'm really looking forward to being able to open the doors and welcome everyone back again. What would you choose as the first hymn we sing together?

Of course, that is some weeks ahead, and in the meantime, the church still has bills to pay, and we employ people who rely on us to pay their salaries and wages. As we are faithful, and committed to their welfare, please try to find a way to continue your regular giving so that we can continue to support them.

You could post a cheque (to the church, please). If you prefer to set up a Standing Order, the church's bank account number is 34060553, and the sort code: 56-00-55

The Worship at Home material will continue to be distributed each week, and the next set will include prayers and reflections for each day of Holy Week. This material isn't intended to replace Songs of Praise, or joining a service online. Its something that you can do as well as those things, either by yourself or with others in your home.

If you would let me have your email address, these sheets can be sent to you electronically. If you have no email address, our small team of volunteers will continue to put them through your letterbox.

With much love, and prayers that you will be blessed as you stay close to God, and close to us.

A Prayer
written by the President of Conference, Rev Dr Barbara Glasson:
Loving God
if we are ill,
strengthen us;
if we are tired,
fortify our spirits;
if we are anxious,
help us to consider the lilies of the field,
and the birds of the air.
Help us not to stockpile the treasures of the supermarkets
in the barns of our larders.
Don't let fear cause us to overlook
the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves.
Fix our eyes on your story,
and our hearts on your grace.
Help us always
to hold fast to the good,
to see the good in others,
and to remember there is just one world,
one hope,
one everlasting love,
with baskets of bread for everyone.
In Jesus we make our prayer;
the one who suffered,
died,
and was raised to new life;
the one in whom we trust — these days, and all days.
Amen.

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