As I write this I realise it is 40 days since I presided at the Eucharist in our beautiful church. This is the longest I have experienced since being ordained, and in fact the longest I have gone without receiving since becoming a Christian. It hurts. I wait with anticipation and hope for news of how and when restrictions will be lifted, particularly for when we may gather in our building again.
We are trying to enable worship and spiritual connection through many different ways. This message and the emails each week point towards this, and it may be that you are receiving this for the first time, as more email addresses have been added to our number (you may enjoy this play on words when you read the passage from Acts for this weekend!). The resources that we send, either the Service in Isolation booklet, the daily prayers, Going Deeper and more, try to support this. We are also having an online presence, with recorded and live streamed acts of prayer, worship and reflection on the church Facebook and Youtube channel. This Sunday (as long as the technology allows!) we are being supported by Martin Turnbull with the inclusion of a hymn.
I’m grateful for your feedback and encouragement for our sometimes frail, wobbly and imperfect offerings. I was encouraged recently by this being described as the perfume we have to anoint Jesus’ feet with – it is costly, and the best of what we have, and we offer it for him.
It may also be true that none of this is enabling a connection for you, and I understand this. We will never be able to meet everyone’s needs or preferences, and there are many members of the congregation who do not access any form of social media.
I want to encourage you to explore to find out what works for you. Many churches are live streaming different ways of worshipping, both from sisters and brothers within our Deanery, and much further afield. From Morning Worship to Songs of Praise on the television, ‘Thought for the Day’ on the radio, the Daily Hope freephone facility, or study guides, or daily devotions: I know you will find ways that connect for you. We worship one God, and during this season, I want to affirm and commend any and all ways that enable you to pray, to sing, to worship, to learn or to be fed.
I continue to pray for you, and for this beautiful community that we live amongst and are called to serve.
With love in Christ