Letter from Ian 9th January 2021
Dear St Columba's Family,
As I write to you at the beginning of the third lockdown you may well be feeling that darkness has come like a shroud and covered the earth, or at least your little corner of it. I know it is not so easy being locked down in winter, with long dark nights and some cold damp days, but this is necessary to stop the spread of the virus. The good news is that there is hope on the horizon, a glimmer of light appearing with the roll out of the vaccines, and it is good to hear of people from our church family receiving their vaccinations. However the hope and light of the vaccines are but a faint glow compared with our other source of hope and light, the promises of our Lord. In the song "Darkness like a shroud", which is included in this week's online worship, the chorus says:
"Arise shine, your light has come, the glory of the Lord has risen on you!
Arise, shine, your light has come, Jesus the light of the world has come".
I hope and pray that you will know the light and hope of Jesus in your lives, and that will lift your spirits in the difficult days ahead. If it would help you to be able to go into the church for private prayer that is always possible, please contact me and we can arrange to open the church for you, even if it is only for a few minutes, so please do ask. It may be that what you really miss is conversation, in which case do feel free to call me or Kevin (see numbers below), it is always good to hear from you.
On the subject of hearing from people it was especially good to receive texts from people before and during last week's service. It really helped to unite the people in church with those watching at home. We will try and do something similar again in the future, although as the situation changes we need to think how best to do that.
This week we received a card from Derek and Jane Waller saying:
"Thank you so much for your support over the last six years. We hope that you have enjoyed a window on the church in South Sudan and Madagascar and will continue your interest in overseas mission. As we leave service with CMS and retire we wish you God's blessing. Derek and Jane."
During this year we hope to establish a new CMS link so that we can, as they say, continue our interest in overseas mission.
The youtube link for this week's service is as follows:
There are Energize resources looking at the story of the 12 year old Jesus going to the Temple, a new mini SCANS from Steve (something to keep you entertained and challenged during this latest lockdown), as well as the new Bible Reading Sheet. If anyone would like a printed copy of this please do let me know and we can drop one to you. This sheet takes us to May and there are just a couple of weeks then before we finish reading our way through the whole Bible (and through the New Testament and Psalms twice) so well done if you have kept going and, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, anyone can pick this up and start now if you have not been reading for the last two years - it will be something else to keep you entertained and challenged during the lockdown.
The situation with Spring Harvest is that they are still planning to go ahead, and as such the balances are due at the end of this month. Please note that if the event is cancelled because of coronavirus, even after the full balance has been paid, you will receive a FULL refund. However if anyone decides to cancel their booking now you will lose the deposit you have paid (but not any instalments paid in addition to the deposit as they are held in the church bank account). If you have any questions about this please do contact Miriam on 07950 818315.
Finally can I ask you to pray for the PCC who will be meeting via Zoom on Tuesday evening. They have to discuss the ongoing closure of the church, our potential involvement with a charity that helps house homeless people, the ongoing improvements to the Church Hall and a number of other matters.
May God continue to be with you and keep you safe and well,
(Kevin 07512 822422)