This weekend brings us to the end of the Church year, with the feast of Christ the King. It is perhaps reflective of so much this year that we will each be worshipping in our own homes. This year we have shared, as a whole nation and in our local communities, levels of uncertainty and anxiety that are often only felt privately by people going through hard times. While we celebrate Christ as King we cannot dismiss either our personal suffering or the challenges in our world, rather, I think Jesus’ invitation is to contemplate the mystery at the heart of our faith that through his entering into our suffering and death and coming to resurrection, Jesus has shown us that the power of God’s love can hold the Creation in and through all that is not God’s will for it, and bring newness of life. May this feast inspire us to hold our nation in prayers of hope and love at this time. This week’s prayer for use at 6pm is at the end of this letter.
As we look toward Advent, naturally our thoughts turn towards planning for Christmas and as so much national discussion shows, what will be possible is still unclear but there is hope that by the first week in December we will be in a better position to know what is going to be possible for us as church communities to offer in worship together. I hope to arrange some Zoom meetings with PCCs after I have been briefed by our Archdeacons. I know Zoom can be a little daunting to some, which is why I use it sparingly, but I think we have reached a time when we need to have a regular means of practical meetings that don’t depend on us being able to meet face to face. To begin to make this a little less daunting I’d like to suggest an Advent Sunday Tea-Zoom at 3.30 – 4.00 next Sunday (29<sup>th</sup>). This will just be a chance to meet others socially, and try out the technology without having to worry that we are transacting business. If you would like to try it out let me know and I will send out individual invitations next Saturday.
I was due to take some annual leave through the middle of this week. With the regulations as they are I am not going away to see family – but I will be taking a break from phone and email between Monday-Friday this week. If there is anything you urgently need to talk to me about, do try and contact me over this weekend.
Lord Jesus Christ,
in these dark and difficult days, we turn our hearts to you.
In ages past, you have delivered our nation from disaster.
Do it again, we pray.
Give wisdom beyond human wisdom to our leaders,
Give strength beyond human strength to the NHS and all our frontline workers.
Give comfort beyond human comfort to the elderly and all who grieve.
Lord Jesus Christ,
in these dark and difficult days,
turn your face towards us,
have mercy upon us,
and heal our land, we pray.