Letter from Ian 2nd January 2021
Happy New Year Everyone,
I realise that it was probably a quieter start to 2021 than many are used to, but it is so much better to be safe at this time and to follow all the government guidelines. Indeed I think many of us were expecting those guidelines to be more strict, possibly with another full lockdown. As it is churches can remain open for worship, but now we are in tier 4 we are not supposed to speak with anyone who is not in our household or bubble either inside or outside the church. It is not surprising that many of you have decided not to come to church until the situation improves, and we will, of course, continue to provide for you with online services over the coming weeks.
However, just because you are not in church does not mean that you can't be involved. Tomorrow, for example, I would like people to TEXT me on 07903 644609 with a THANKSGIVING from 2020 (I know it was an awful year but we are looking for the glimmers of hope) and a PRAYER for 2021. PLEASE can you do this, either right NOW or at any time up to and including during the service tomorrow (if you are watching live - but obviously not if you are watching later).
I must apologise to everyone who is using the 2+ year Bible Reading Plan. After a well deserved Christmas break we picked up the readings last week and I somehow managed to miss out the last chapter of Jeremiah, chapter 52. I am not quite sure how this happened and hope you found time to read the extra chapter. As we move into the third year of these Bible readings the end is in sight, and congratulations to all who are still on course. Here is the Bible Reading Plan just in case anyone made a NY resolution to read more of the Bible and needs some guidance. Anyone new to the Bible should concentrate on the New Testament readings, which this week continue in Luke's gospel.
This week's online service will be a live stream of the 10.30am service, so the link below will not take you anywhere until just before 10.30 on Sunday 3rd January. After the service it will be possible to watch on youtube in the usual way. We had hoped to be able to include singing by our own Worship Group in the live stream services, but for understandable reasons most of them will be shielding at home so we won't have a Worship Group in church for the time being. We will be listening to recorded music in church but we can't broadcast this over the internet for copyright reasons, so there will be pauses during the live stream. I know many of you feel that singing is at the heart of worship, and so there are youtube links below to some of the songs we will listen to in church tomorrow.
The links for the live stream of this week's service are here:
Three songs from the service are listed below with their youtube links:
Angels from the realms of glory - https://youtu.be/IBR4kkcT3is
The First Nowell - https://youtu.be/290ghMvZ8h0
In the bleak midwinter - https://youtu.be/xAzQIS4-MpY
Finally let me mention some puzzles from Steve (originally sent last week so with a Christmas theme), this week's Energize Extra resources (looking at the shepherds in the Christmas story) and a New Year edition of Snippets from the Shires from Tim & Carol Derbyshire in Australia.
With very best wishes to you all, and do get in touch if there is anything you need, or simply for a chat.