Weekly Notes - September 9th
Dear brothers and sisters,
May the Face of the Lord shine upon you this day!
I hope you are keeping well – perhaps having enjoyed a bracing walk on this windy day. May we know the Wind of the Spirit amongst us! (I’ve also been taking photographs every few days of The St John’s Oak, as it springs into new growth!)
Apologies if this is a somewhat ‘business’ oriented email . . . , BUT before I go any further let us all pause, and take a moment to remind ourselves that our focus is our shared life in Jesus Christ, coming to us in Word and Sacrament, and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Whilst there are matters that it is proper for us to note, they should not consume our gaze. Jesus warns us that there will be such things, many of them indeed. The fatal error is to get distracted by, and trapped in, the glare and noise of This Present Age, and not be watching and waiting for His Spirit.
As I suggested earlier this week, I am now in a position to clarify the situation regarding gathering for worship this week (having had our Action Plan agreed in consultation with the Diocesan Office. My thanks to our Wardens, Melanie and Ethan, for their help in this regard. Please also keep the Diocesan Office staff, including Nicola in your prayers at what is a very demanding time for them (Diocesan Synod is only a week away . . .)
Alongside our continuing online provision which you can access through the parish website, we shall hold two services this Sunday morning, at 9 and 10am. Both will use our All-Age liturgy. Please be aware that:
9am is a said service with no hymns.
10am we shall have hymns, but no choir.
We are limited to a gathering of 50 at each service, so as I mentioned on Monday, if you usually come at 10, but would be happy to come at 9 instead and don’t mind or indeed prefer the absence of hymns, then please come along then. This will help us meet the number requirement. (Based on our previous experience we don’t envisage this being an issue)
With regard to masks: whilst it is not a requirement to wear a mask, wearing one is an act of consideration towards those who would be uncomfortable being present if we weren’t wearing them. Therefore we are strongly encouraged to ‘mask up’ for the sake of others. (Masks can be removed if you are leading from the front, prayers etc. and to receive the sacrament)
At all services from now on, whether we are at Level 2 or Level 1 it is a requirement to sign / scan in. We are required to keep a record on the premises of all those who use the premises, only to be used for contact tracing purposes in the unhappy event of a COVID outbreak amongst us. Regular members of the congregation apart from scanning in, only need to get their name checked off. If folk are visiting us, which they do on a fairly regular basis, we shall need full contact details. Please be patient and sensitive to others around you J
IF YOU ARE COMING TO THE 9AM SERVICE AND WOULD BE HAPPY TO TURN UP AT 8:40 TO CHECK PEOPLE IN, PLEASE LET ME KNOW BY TEXT. WE WOULD BE MOST GRATEFUL J
The Church will be set out with Orders of Service in place to help us with the required social distancing. (You are of course free to sit together as a household) With regard to distancing, further instructions will be given before we come to receive the sacrament, which is in one kind (the bread) at Level 2 as previously.
There will be no Morning Tea at Level 2 this time round, as we are asked to vacate the building promptly after the service. However I have set up a Zoom link for virtual Morning Tea to begin at 11:15am. The link is in the email copy of this message
Other matters matter . . . Please continue in your prayers for folks mentioned previously. If there are others you are aware of who would appreciate our prayers, please do let me know.
THE FAIR – It has been suggested, and Craig and Margaret are exploring this idea, that we should in the short term postpone until November 20. Any thoughts? Please reply to this mail which Margaret will receive.
It’s been quite a week, one way or another. Let us pray that we shall soon return to Level 1!
May the Grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ
The Love of God, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit
Be Amongst us all
Now and always
With every blessing