Church of England Diocese of Bristol St. Martin Knowle

A message from Becky... 16th October

16 Oct 2020, 6 p.m.

Dear Friends

I continue to hold you in my prayers, and am so thankful for all that you are doing to reach out to friends, neighbours and the wider community as we continue this journey together.

Our season of generosity continues: we have considered 'Generous with what we have', and your Harvest gifts were such a blessing. We considered "Generous with the other", which gave us opportunity to think about times when we have felt like the "other", as well as how we might inadvertently create "otherness" in our interactions. This week we consider "Generous with our gifts"; and we can explore together how we sometimes connect this to mean 'talent' or 'skill', when in fact there may be a deeper layer of who we are in what we offer.

We return this week to holding an 8.30am Holy Communion service, as well as a later gathering. We will be sanitising the church between services, to ensure we remain "Covid-safe", and I'm grateful for the generosity of action and spirit that enables us to continue to meet: in helping to welcome people, in the way those gathering behave, and in the cleaning in between. I'm grateful in advance for any of you who may be able to come along to church tomorrow (17th October) to help give the church a deep "Autumn Clean".

We continue to try to live stream the best possible quality video that we can, and I appreciate the generosity of those watching at home towards the challenges of having a clear picture and audible sound!

I long for us to continue to find ways to connect, particularly as the numbers of Covid cases appear to be rising in the city, and the threat of loneliness from isolation feels as life limiting as catching the virus itself. The zoom groups on Monday and Thursday evenings provide space to be together digitally, and this week there will be a service of Contemplative Prayer in church on Wednesday evening at 8pm, for space to be still and connect not just with each other, but with God.

Next week, on 25th October, as well as the 8.30am Holy communion, we are going to hold an all age act of worship at 11.00am which we hope will be an opportunity for the whole church family to attend.

We cannot worship in the way we used to, and it feels strange certainly at first to be together yet separated by space and face masks, yet we are still the body of Christ, we are still sisters and brothers,God is still God, and the Holy Spirit continues to move amongst us.

In other news, when people ask me "what are we doing about Christmas", the only thing we know for sure is that it will be Christmas Day on December 25th! (10 weeks today if anyone wants to know!!)

The PCC have met and begun to make tentative plans for how we may worship during Advent and Christmas. Clearly we will be led by the Government and Church of England guidance, but there is still a story of love to be told, and to be known, perhaps needed even more this year. We will continue to use this weekly email, as well as our social media resources, to keep you up to date.

And so another week draws to a close, and another Sunday morning beckons. May you know the abundant generosity of the gift of God which is this day, this moment. And in this moment I pray you will know God's grace, peace and love.

With every blessing, as ever