I hope you continue to be well as we discover together what 'normal' is going to be! I continue to reflect on God going ahead of us in all of this, and to try not to run ahead of Him! I'm also aware that the school term has ended, and I do hope that there is a sense of summer holidays coming up, even if you're going to have a 'staycation'.
As we patiently watch and wait, we are also encouraged to find our way in emerging from lockdown. I notice an easing of some restrictions, with common sense and caution held together in the ways we interact. I have worn a face mask inside shops for the first time this week, and other than feeling a bit hot it was fine. As we go forward in our planning for how we will gather inside to worship, I have found a set of face masks in liturgical colours - they really are thinking of everything!!
As we engage in these new ways of being together I appreciate that for some it's either happening too quickly, for others, not quickly enough! So shall it always be, I suppose. We are often reminded in scripture that God's thoughts are not our thoughts, nor his ways our ways. I pray that we can discern together how to be wise, how to listen to what God is revealing, how to be generous with each other, how to be careful and caring.
We are also going to engage in new ways over the Summer months, with plans for how we might worship more creatively, and how we might begin to gather in public worship.
The first of these is this coming Sunday, when our act of worship will be live streamed from inside of church. It won't be a public act of worship at this stage, although I am grateful that some of our young people are coming along to participate. The service will be cafe style, so you may like to join in with your breakfast! The theme is 'what does God have to say about fear', and you will be able to interact during the service by posting messages during the live feed. You may prefer to send in any thoughts or questions before then - this may be related to fear, and particularly relating to fear around our current situation, however, there is also a chance to "ask us anything". Some of you may have been watching the regular weekly chat, and we anticipate that part of the service will take a similar form, except where you can all join in!
Another new way of engaging is with our community, as we establish a food bank from church on Tuesdays. Included with this week's message are details on how you can volunteer to support this. We have families and individuals in our parish in need, and this is a way to come alongside and journey with them.
I appreciate that both of these ventures are new. It may be that you don't feel you can practically participate in either, but it would be wonderful if you could prayerfully participate.
As ever I pray for you, and the beautiful parish we live amongst. May you know God's love, peace and grace over the coming days.
With every blessing
Rev Becky Waring
Vicar St Martins Knowle
Area Dean Bristol South