Sunday and beyond

Dear Friends, 

In this tumultuous time the Church is learning new patterns of worship and service, communities are coming together in solidarity and compassion, and we are all remembering what matters most in life. As Christians, we pray that Jesus Christ continues to build his kingdom in this world, we stand in hope of life eternal, and we learn to sing the Lord’s song in a strange land. 

Below gives detail of this adapted life of the church. There is a lot of information here, but I thought that giving as much as possible as this time was the right thing to do. Please take what you would like, and refer to it again over the coming days. 

Church is Open

The church is open each day. You are welcome and indeed encouraged to use the space as a place of private prayer. Please follow usual hygiene precautions; there are facilities to wash your hands upon arrival and exit or use hand sanitiser in each church. ‘Prayer Stations’ may develop in time. 

When I’m able, I will regularly come into the church to pray, to maintain the space as a ‘house of prayer’, on behalf of the community.  Until then I remain committed to the daily offices of prayer here at home. 

Well Being

I cannot encourage you enough to stay in touch with each other during these times via phone or video call. We all need each other, and to look out for each other more than ever. This is no time for independence; if you find yourself in need of assistance then say – whether social, emotional, spiritual or practical. I will of course be phoning round when I can as well.

For anyone who wishes to read more on well-being at this time, please click here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

Care in the Wider Community

As well as caring for one another in the church I am sure we are already looking towards neighbours as they too also look towards us to give and receive support. Diana Offord is coordinating efforts of our village response, please see a notice from her and contact her directly in you can offer any help at this time. Do also keep this village effort in your prayers:

Haslingfield is a wonderful, caring community.

Representatives of the Parish council, Warden Scheme, Luncheon Club, Car share scheme, Churches and C and V have met to gather information to see how we the look after the safety and wellbeing of the vulnerable residents of Haslingfield. 

We aim to set up a group of volunteers to maintain contact with anyone isolated, and to help where needed.  

We are asking families or close friends to create a plan for their relatives that will include checking-

  • That they are contacted each day
  • if they need shopping
  • to check they have medication they require.

If the family are unable to get shopping or other needs themselves, we plan that they can contact a linked volunteer who will, either go themselves or ask another volunteer from the list. 

People may want help getting onto internet apps like Skype or WhatsApp (to communicate with family) or online supermarket shopping sites and banking apps. Others might just appreciate a regular phone call – being unable to socialise like this is not something any of us have experienced before.

If you wish to be added to the list of volunteers please send your details to emergency@haslingfieldparishcouncil or on 07545159828. 

Both Village shops are offering free shopping delivery. We are also investigating whether we arrange for one person collect regular prescriptions from the surgery for people and deliver them to the recipient’s door. 

If you are aware of anyone who might not be getting this information please let them know what is planned. There are already local arrangements for neighbourly support in village which is good to hear but if you are worried about someone who does not appear to supported during this difficult time then please let us know. 

This is first step in supporting us all through this difficult time and we will keep in touch over the coming weeks as the support network develops. 

Please keep in contact with each other in any additional way that you feel you can help, such as compiling a bulletin or newsletter, organising dog walking for anyone who is unable to, set up baking and distributing group or set up a remote jigsaw appreciation group! This can be done using the Village website, notice boards, social media or through your society’s usual means of communication, or just pop a note through your neighbours’ door. 

Perhaps you would like to use a card such as this? 

Daily Rhythms of Prayer

As we learn to sing the Lord’s song in a strange land, many of us will discover more of the depths and riches that come from daily patterns of prayer. We may find that a daily life of prayer becomes the rock that gets us through this season. To help us on that journey may I suggest a few options:

‘Lectio 365’ – https://www.24-7prayer.com/dailydevotional

‘Pray as you go’ – https://pray-as-you-go.org/

You can also download an app for this. This provides audio to listen to and pray with each day. There are some other resources to explore as well.

Daily Prayer – https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer

This includes forms of prayer for morning, midday, evening and night. This old monastic rhythm may in fact be just what we need in this time. The online version includes all the readings. The full versions are quite wordy so it is okay to skip sections! The CofE are also developing a less wordy form as we speak. 

Further Resources – 

I have found and attached a number of resources which you may find helpful. Please don’t feel overwhelmed but I hope, supported. Choose what you like and go for it or continue with your usual reflection and study. 

If anyone would like printed versions of any of these through their door please let me know for yourself or others – or do print for those who you know are not on email.

Home Groups

We are hoping that our two Home Groups will continue in some form or other – with resources being sent round, or phone conversations etc as a way of support and care. 

Compline / Contemplative Night Prayer/ Children’s stories – ways of connecting our Sunday Club at this time etc – Social Media and live streaming platforms 

We could begin to use Facebook and other social media platforms to being to connect with one another. I can lead Compline online in some way or we could meet on a Sunday virtually via ZOOM. 

Do let me know if this would be helpful and I can set something up pretty quickly, but it would be really good to know if this would be helpful – email rebeccagilbert@lordsbridge.org or call 01223 817805 and let me know if you would value this and what would you value. 

Please do be prepared to try this new technology, even if it feels a little scary! Or call me if you would want some help and Rich can support you further if we do go ahead! If not, you can always join in at that time if something is planned, perhaps lighting a candle and using the Lent Compline I’ve attached so we know we are praying together whether through Zoom/facebook or not. Please let me know what would you like. 

National Day of Prayer

This will be a Mothering Sunday like no other. We cling to our mother God and hold each other up in love. The Archbishops have asked us all who can to light a candle and put it in our window at 7pm as a mark of hope and light in these times. Please do join with me and others around the nation in pausing at 7pm if you can. If that time is not a good time, of course choose another and let’s pause together on Sunday in that way too.Sunday Club for this Sunday (and beyond) 
Please find attached a document with ideas for the children and families for over the next few weeks. Also, for this Sunday:
To explore this with children you could watch someone read the whole story of  ‘Fortunatley, Unfortuantely’  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqwlC972kWQ
Read Exodus 2 and look together at those who cared for Moses – how many women were there who cared for and nurtured him? What did each women do?
Talk about those who look after you, members of your family, friends, teachers, the church or the community. How do they help you? How do they look after you?Think about how you can say thank you to those around you who look after you.Have a go at making some origami flowers to give (or post) to someone special to you. Please see attached. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFHGsHdY8w4