Change to Church Opening
Published by Abi Scrase on Monday, 23 March 2020 23:00
I'm sure many of you will have seen the Prime Minister's address this evening. In that address, he outlined the next stage of restrictions on our movements and gatherings in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus and reduce the strain on the NHS.
As all places of worship are to close immediately, it is with great regret that I have to tell you we are no longer able to open the church either on Sundays or at lunchtimes for personal prayer. We will be streaming a service on Sunday morning.
I cannot remember a time in my lifetime where it has felt more important to pray for our nation. Given this, I would like us to join together in praying for:
● Wisdom for our Government and its officials, and all national and diocesan church leaders
● Strength, endurance and resources for our NHS staff
● God's comfort for all those suffering with anxiety and those for whom weeks of social isolation will be hard, particularly older people
● God's provision for those facing uncertainty over their livelihoods, particularly those running their own businesses or bearing the responsibility for making decisions that may affect the livelihoods of others
● God's grace and peace in all families and households, particularly those where parents are working from home and homeschooling
● Courage for Christians as we seek to be Christ's light in our neighbourhoods
● God's healing power to turn back the tide of this virus so that there are no untimely deaths in our community
Although we cannot physically gather, please join me in praying between 12 and 1pm each day as we seek the Lord.
The words of Jeremiah 29: 11-14 are much loved, a call to prayer remembering God's promises. But what's often missed is their context: the promise that the LORD had purposes for His people, plans to give them both hope and a future, were spoken to a people experiencing the disorientating loss of Exile in Babylon. As we experience disruption of our daily lives and the fear of what might come next, let us hear and take these words to heart: God has a purpose to prosper us and give us renewed hope beyond these unprecedented times. His promise still stands, and Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, shows us that God always keeps His promises (2 Corinthians 1: 20a). So let us not be afraid, but take heart and wait for the Lord.
Tuesday 23 March 2020