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SERVICES
Sadly, there will be no services in Church until further notice.
All Diary Dates are cancelled

Church Officials
Minister:
Secretary:  Miss A. Shaw, 27 Whernside Road, Lancaster, LA1 2TA.
Treasurer.  Mr. G. Shaw: 27 Whernside Road, Lancaster, LA1 2TA,
Tel. 67644

If anyone needs a minister please contact the Church Secretary

It is now confirmed that we all have at least another three weeks of isolation and social distancing.  This is no doubt for the best as if rules were to be relaxed and then a further outbreak of coronavirus brought back all the restrictions and possibly more, then that would be very hard to bear.  We should be grateful that we live in such a nice area and are able to get out a little.  Star, my greyhound, is getting used to only going out for one walk a day and that I do not go out on my own for longer spells, such as going to Carnforth or Lancaster for shopping.

It seemed very odd not going to a church service on Easter Sunday.  However, Radio Cumbria, and I think that all the BBC local radio stations as well, do for now have a virtual service at 8.00 am each Sunday.  That is good for people, like myself, who have trouble with the modern technology. For some reason, I cannot get sound to play on my computer, so there is no point in downstreaming a service.

However, I am able to get a few jobs done, such as clearing out old rubbish.  I have been reminded of the tale told to me many years ago that a vicar was told that his bishop was coming to see him.  The vicar had to take two days off work before then so as to tidy his study ready for the bishop’s visitation.

During this current time, we may not be able to come together physically as the Body of Christ. But the Body of Christ has always included a wider and deeper community: those who go to the church building; those who are housebound or in care homes; those who are at work, play or rest; those who are parts of our local, national and global communities. Indeed, in the Body of Christ, each and every one of us has a different and unique part to play, and yet we are unified through God. A God who is with all of us and within all of us every moment of every day.

A prayer-poem for a pandemic – Author Unknow

May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving their health
or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips
remember those that have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country
Let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
Let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours.

Amen.

Thought of the week, 19th April 2020

Dear Friends,

Late that Sunday evening, the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors…Then Jesus came and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you!’ he said. (John 20:19)

On Easter evening, the disciples, cowered behind locked doors feeling powerless and genuinely afraid of the authorities. They had witnessed the torture and horrific crucifixion of Jesus, and they feared they would be next.

In the midst of their turmoil, Jesus showed up, stood among them, and offered them his peace. Peace -Shalom in Hebrew, and Eirene in Greek, occurs more than 250times in the Bible. Here in the passage, peace refers to Jesus acknowledging and reassuring his disciples to trust God in the midst of their challenges. Their lives would not be plain sailing, they were still in danger, but the presence and help of Jesus was promised them.

Are you locked in? Do the restrictions of life encompass and seem to hold you fast? Circumstances can lock us in, making us feel powerless and afraid, but don’t be shut out from faith and hope. Jesus comes in through the locked doors and windows we erect, offering us the same peace he gave to his disciples. Jesus’ peace is definitely not the absence of perils and dangers, but a state of calm deep within ourselves, and trust that in the midst of it all, and come what may God is in control. This was the experience of Horatio Gates Spafford, who following the family tragedy in which his four daughters drowned on a sea voyage from America to England penned the words of the hymn: When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea-billows roll; whatever my lot You have taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my Soul.’ (1828-88)

Peace be with you!

Irene John