Difficult times

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From the Manse......

You do not need me to remind you that we are currently living in very uncertain times as the reality of the coronvirus pandemic makes itself known and we find we are having to quickly adapt and to do things differently.

With so much information being shared it is sometimes difficult to know what to think and the fear of the unknown can at times be very real indeed. In the midst of wall-to-wall coverage and empty shelves due to panic buying, it can be hard to put things into some kind of perspective.

The Methodist Connexion continues to monitor the situation and keeps the churches updated on good practice and what we should be doing to help look after ourselves and others.

As Circuit Superintendent and your minister, I can assure you that I will pass on any guidance that I receive from the Methodist Connexion as soon as it arrives. I have refrained from including the current guidance that I have just received in this letter as by the time this is printed and you have read it, the situation may well have changed yet again and new advice issued.

You will be able to find current and up-to-date guidance on our church website and in the weekly notice sheet.

The Connexion also reminds us that there is a bigger picture and that the Methodist Church is wider than just Britain. It reminds us that we are learning from our sisters and brothers around the world who are dealing with a difficult and uncertain situation and we are asked to hold them in prayer, particularly those in affected areas.

Revd Paul Wood, Interim Director of the Ministries Team, said: "As we deal with the practicalities of protecting people from coronavirus we continue to remember Our Calling to care for the other whilst always being mindful that is that our call is always to respond to the good news in Jesus. We are a people of hope we need to declare and model good news in these difficult times."

Head of Mission, Jude Levermore said: "Our Calling is to respond in love and service to the needs of our communities. The aim of this advice is to help us do this even while the extent of the issue is still unclear. We are grateful to our sisters and brothers around the world who hold us in prayer as we hold them. We should not be afraid "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7.

So, in faith and in hope we do what we can, looking after ourselves and one another and seeking to help others in these difficult times.

A prayer for these days:
God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of illness, fear for loved ones, fear of other's reactions to them.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace.

We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty.
For those people who are worried about attending worship.
For those needing to make decisions in order to care for other
For those who will feel more isolated by not being able to attend.
Grant us your wisdom.

Holy God, we remember that you have promised that
Nothing will separate us from your love — demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ.
Help us turn our eyes, hearts and minds to you.
Amen

With love and God Bless

Keith

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