Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, members of the wider congregation of St Andrew’s,
We suddenly find ourselves part of a virtual church. None of us imagined finding ourselves in such a situation. From what I hear, most people seem to have responded well to the idea of staying in and being careful. Well done!… But the novelty may wear off and we must reassure one another.
It has been a great encouragement to receive expressions of goodwill and many offers of help for others in the congregation. At the same time, I have been in touch with other people for whom the situation is already very difficult. Please remember them in your prayers.
I am sending this out on Saturday, to let you know different ways to engage with worship, being unable to attend church tomorrow. There are various routes to doing this, from fellowship with friends to reading the Anglican services, or listening to services of worship online and on radio and TV.
On Sundays, you could even call a friend for fellowship and pray together on the telephone; Saying ‘Morning Prayer’ in a quiet spot alone, or with someone else in your household, may suit you.
You will have noticed media advice to encourage each other by singing on balconies, playing bizarre games and suchlike. Thinking about other subjects can also be helpful. So, this week, we are taking the topic of the Ecology, which was supposed to be last week’s Lent discussion after church, and setting up a Sunday live discussion group to start at 11.30 in the morning, on-line. Our Eco Officer, Michael Dechane, will set this up and it is simplest if you email him for instructions on how to join in.
We will attempt to have a live video group conversation online about ecology issues and our environmental impact, both as individuals and families and as a congregation. If you have questions, issues you’d like to discuss, or you are just curious and want to observe the conversation, please join us! We hope this will be the first in a series of conversations around these issues in the months (and years) to come. To participate, please email Michael, at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know. Michael will email you instructions about how to tune-in and be a part of this online discussion.
Missing UK Mothering Sunday?
For those with family in the UK, you may be interested in the Mothering Sunday service with the Archbishop of Canterbury. You can follow the service here, at 9.10 Swiss Time.
Here is a prayer sent from our two Archbishops for us to use at this time.
Keep us, Good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore.
The Revd Paul Brice, Chaplian
P.s. I wrote a sermon for tomorrow a couple of weeks ago. However, back then, it was not connected with the current situation, so is not apt for general circulation. I can email you a copy if you would like to read it 😉