Pastoral Letter: 21st June 2020

Dear Friend from Bridport United Church, Uploders Methodist Church or Hope and Radipole United Reformed Churches 

 

It has been the first week since lockdown when things have felt a bit more different and yet still not normal? 

People have been able to show for ‘non-essential items’ though in truth I’d never thought of clothes and shoes as such?  Then again perhaps it just shows what a privileged life I have led that I take such things for granted?  And in the light of all the chaos and demonstrations resulting from yet another racist event in the USA, which has resulted in sympathy events on this side of the pond, reminding us that folk here in the UK are still not treated justly and equally, I am aware that in my whole life of 60+ years I have never been abused, ridiculed or treated detrimentally simply because of the colour of my skin.  I can’t help feeling that seeing an Officer of the Law, callously squeezing the life out of George Floyd, whilst his colleagues made no suggestions that he was being overly brutal, has perhaps brought it home to many of us how jolly privileged are those of us who are ‘White British?’

Actually the privilege of living the UK was was underlined this week when I received a video to be used at United Church Dorchester from their chosen major charity this year the Mission Aviation Fellowship, which starts recounting how so many of us are feeling challenged by isolation during lockdown.  It then goes onto an aerial image of an African village and almost doesn’t have to say the next line that, for many in other parts of the world, that is an everyday experience and has been for years.  Again it made me reflect upon the restrictions that I might have grumbled about and the strange relief at the recent gradual releases that have been happening.  I hope and pray that I shall be more realistic in my appreciation and gratitude once this strange period is over?

And talking of this strange period, this week I received a new hymn written by John Bell of the Iona Community  The tune isn't spectacular but the words I think are very powerful:

We will meet; when the danger is over, 
we will meet when the Sundays are done; 
we will meet, sitting closely together 

and be glad our tomorrow has come

We will join to give thanks and sing gladly, 
we will join to break bread and share wine; 
and the peace that we pass to each other 

will be more than a casual sign.

So let's make with each other a promise, 
that when all we've come through is behind, 
we will share what we missed and find meaning 

in the things that once troubled our mind.

Until then may we always discover 
faith and love to determine our way. 
That’s our hope and God’s will and our calling, 

for our lives and for every new day

©  John Bell WGRG Iona 2020

I hope and trust you are managing well in this difficult (though not impossible) and improving time, and I pray that folk will continue to be careful, kind and understanding as we adapt to the changes

Okay - Okay - this weeks’ menu of service Options offered by the Circuit Worship Team and beyond to celebrate Trinity Sunday:

 

1) The Circuit Video service will as usual appear on the Dorset South and West website on Saturday evening and is also led this week by Dave Farmer and the Team at Eason Methodist Church on Portland.  Simply go to www.DSW.church and the link will be there to take you to YouTube.
 
2) The Audio Service from the URC Daily Devotions Team will be led Rev'd Richard Church who, for the next few weeks, serves as the URC Deputy General Secretary for Discipleship.   Richard reflects on how God restores us in our brokenness.  The hymns are: Stuart Townend's In Christ Alone, Jan Struther's Lord of All Hopefulness, W Y Fullerton's I Cannot Tell, and Joachim Neander's All My Hope on God Is Founded.
 
As ever the service is sent out between 9.45 and 9.50 on Sunday morning but you can listen at any time.  The Call to Worship has an opportunity to light a candle so you may wish to have a candle and matches to hand.
 
3) Once again we have our locally produced SoulSpace service: https://youtu.be/WpDFCwRe4EE