Happy Easter 2020
A very happy Easter to you. And to those close to you.
This Easter feels like none I’ve ever known before. Buildings that are closed. Streets which are deserted. People meeting in their own homes. There have been days this last week when I’ve felt more like a “film producer” than a vicar, spending a fair bit of each day receiving various contributions from people, and getting ready to “go live” thanks to the wonders of technology and the joys of Facebook.
It feels more important than ever this year to speak of hope and live a resurrection life. “Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!” is so needed across our world. Where death turns to life. Despair turns to hope. Darkness turns to light. If ever we needed a celebration of hope and renewal this is the time.
We’ve made the decision as a team here not to “do communion online”, but to wait till we can gather back together and share bread and wine in person. I’m glad to say though that Charles Ruxton has written some actions and prayers based around Luke 24 and the road to Emmaus. This could be done on your own at home over an Easter meal, with family gathered around you, or even ‘sharing’ online with friends and family.
We hope this would provide an opportunity – over a meal at home – for you to pray, say some prayers, and remember Jesus as families or individuals in a way which might include eating bread and drinking wine. For those for whom a service of communion is particularly important there are a number of cathedrals and churches which will be livestreaming Eucharists.
MIDWEEK LEARNING HUBS
Alongside the really great work small groups are doing pastorally and for discipleship, we are planning SIX different online “midweek learning hubs” beginning after Easter. Lasting between five and eight weeks, each of these will give an opportunity to engage with some video learning online at your leisure, and then to ‘come together’ for a time each week to have an online discussion around that theme, and to grow together. The six courses are:
- TALKING JESUS on sharing your faith
- PRAYER COURSE on the Lord’s prayer
- PARENTING FOR FAITH on how to share and live faith within families and with children
- HOW WOULD JESUS LEAD WORSHIP for those involved in music and leading services
- “GOD WITH US – the work of the Holy Spirit” is an overview of the work of the Spirit from Westminster Theological Centre
- THE RUTHLESS ELIMINATION OF HURRY feels remarkably timely with sessions on simplicity, solitude, sabbath and silence.
LOOKING OUT FOR EACH OTHER
Thank you so much to those who are looking out for family, friends and neighbours. This really can make a difference, and is such an important way in which we can be “loving God, self and neighbour” in these times. We’re networking with local groups and people in Radbrook Green, Meole Estate, Meole village and more widely to see what support we can offer.
If you know of anyone in particular need – or you yourself would appreciate support – then please do ask. You can phone our dedicated number of 01743 357711. And for those who have already offered support, thankyou. We are maintaining an up-to-date list, and expect that the need for support will only increase these next weeks.
Talking phone numbers and such things, the Church Office will remain closed for the next few weeks. Some of the ministry team and staff are still working remotely from home, though we’ve made the decision for other staff from the office, Trinity Centre and Cafe to be on ‘furlough’ for these next weeks. The best point of contact for the Church Office is still 01743 362399, or email email@example.com.
GIVING AND STEWARDSHIP
I wanted to say thank you so much to those who have responded to the letters we sent out to those who give regularly by envelope. Obviously the fact that will not be meeting together for quite some weeks has an impact both on your regular giving as well as our income as a PCC. We remain more thankful than ever of the generosity of so many different people, especially in these uncertain times. If you would like to find out more about how to give regularly, or to make a one-off gift online, then take a look at our website.
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