Welcome to the second issue of our new church newsletter – ‘Look-In’ in Lockdown. I hope that you enjoyed our first newsletter last week if you received this (if not, you can find some of the content from it here).
Hope that you are all continuing to keep well and stay safe. This newsletter is one of our ways of trying to maintain contact and a sense of community during this time when we cannot meet together as a church family. We would love to hear from you and are looking for uplifting and encouraging content to share in future issues of this newsletter. If you have any ideas or content that we can share, please do email them to Louise (publicity@christchurchuxbridge. org.uk)
Let’s start with an opening prayer:
We come before you as unique individuals,
Ready to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses,
Ready to recognise the value of others, to value the difference,
Ready to hear your call as it morphs and changes,
Ready to hear your accepting voice and all that frees us to consider,
Ready to notice,
(written by Jane Bingham, taken from The Vine at Home)
God’s Wake-up Call
“Good morning! This is God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help.
If the Devil happens to deliver a situation you cannot handle, DO NOT attempt to resolve it, kindly put it in the ‘SFJTD’ (Something for Jesus to Do) box. It will be addressed in MY time, not yours.
Once a matter is placed in the box, do not hold on to it or attempt to remove it. Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem. If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution.
As I do not sleep, nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep. Rest, my child.
If you need to contact me, I am only a prayer away.
Remember, rest in me.
(Author unknown, shared by Jenny Peet)
Our readings for this week:
John 10:1-10 (NIV)
The good shepherd and his sheep
‘Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice.’ 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, ‘Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:
- Psalm 23
- Acts 2:42-47
- 1 Peter 2:19-25
This week’s Sunday service will be a communion service led by Graham Hinton. If you would like to share in our communion, please make sure you have some bread and juice, wine or squash handy.
We have started holding weekly prayer meetings via Zoom on Wednesdays at 7pm. If you would like to join us for this or have any prayer requests that you would like us to include, please contact the Church Office.
Links for worship material from the URC and Methodist Church and youth devotional material from #BBatHome are available on our Worship page.
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc – www.reverendfun.com)
Christian Aid Week 2020
For as long as any of can remember there has been a Christian Aid Week each May. This year it is from 10th – 16th May and it is still going ahead but, as you would expect, it will be a little different this year, and activities have been planned on-line. All of these are explained on the Christian Aid website at www.christianaid.org.uk and they include a live streamed Christian Aid Week service on Sunday May 10th at 1pm in which Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, is participating; live daily reflections by staff and partners overseas each day from Monday 11th to Saturday 16th May at 11 am; and daily fun quizzes for the whole family throughout the week at 7.30pm.
There is opportunity to donate, and the Christian Aid Week page has a facility to do this. Last year Christian Aid Week raised £1.7m and it would be good if a similar substantial figure could be raised in 2020 in spite of the very different circumstances that we find ourselves in this year.
The work of Christian Aid continues throughout the world and it is already involved in assisting the Coronavirus responses in several countries – it is good to remember that it is not just us who are affected but many other people throughout the world, including some of the poorest.
If you are able, please look at the Christian Aid website for information about their many activities and ways in which you can help.
In John 10:1-10, Jesus tells us he is like a shepherd: he loves and protects his people so we can live a full and happy life. Can you draw some of the things that make your life full and happy?
Life in lockdown
Here are some of the creative things that members of our church family have been doing while in lockdown:
If you have any photos of things that you’ve been doing while in lockdown to share, we’d love to see them!
Praying for other churches
This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:
- Ruislip Methodist church
- Gerrards Cross URC
Lord, we thank you that you are unchanging and constant. Help us to rest in your strength during this times of uncertainty. We pray for our church family and our community; for those who are unwell; those who are anxious; those who are grieving the loss of loved ones or the loss of contact. We pray for the key workers who continue to help maintain essential services and care for those who are unwell during this time. May they know your love and strength during this time. We pray for those who have difficult decisions to make; that you will grant them wisdom. Thank you for our neighbours, our families and our friends and those who are helping to provide support and encouragement throughout this time. Help us to know your love and guidance throughout this time.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen.