Pastoral Letter: w/e 20th February 2020

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

Pastoral Thoughts:

This time, two years ago I was in the final throes of preparing and packing up for a visit to family in South Africa and thinking it would be an original way to celebrate my wife’s birthday, though feeling just a little guilty about my carbon footprint as a result of the air travel.

This time last year I was in the final throes of preparing and packing up for a visit to family in Australia and thinking what fun it would be to celebrate Sue’s birthday with the four Ozzie grandchildren, though once again feeling even more guilty about my carbon footprint.

This week I am looking forward to a week off with absolutely nowhere planned to go.  I worry about whether it’s OK even to drive to Burton Bradstock and I have absolutely no idea how we’re going to celebrate this year’s birthday (and you can feel me doubly squirm here since my wife receives this email!!!)  On the other hand I am feeling incredibly virtuous about my carbon footprint, just for a change!

How our perspectives and practices have changed over the last 12 months, not to mention our priorities?  

As I write we are just entering the season of Lent, one of preparation and prayerful reflection in readiness for the usually fraught and packed diary of events in Holy Week.  And of course we are all wondering how it will be this year as we await the upcoming announcements from the PM about a timetable to release us from the current lockdown?

I can only suggest we watch and wait and plan accordingly - but, in view of the staggeringly rapid roll-out of the vaccination programme, I am hopeful that though we are approaching this Easter with a rather different perspective on hope and optimism, nevertheless, hope and optimism are in the air?  If release of restrictions coincide significantly with the Easter Season I can’t help feeling it will add a new and exciting element to our celebrations?  

Let’s see, shall we, and in true Lenten manner - Prepare!!

Blessings from your Minister,

Peter Clarke

 

So … our Service options this week:

1) Sadly, we are still on Lockdown and though communal worship is permissible it is strongly discouraged and, with the safety of our membership in mind, we have agreed to conform with our denominational recommendations to suspend live worship.  There will be no live services until further notice.

 

2) This week’s Video Service on YouTube is led by the Soul Space Team and continues the series of Impossible Commands in the Bible, with reflection from Jennie McGinley

The link: https://youtu.be/4uSq-P5QA8w

 

3) The Audio Service  from the United Reformed Church will this week from the Daily Devotions Team is being led by The Revd. Samuel Cyuma. Samuel is minister at Christ Church Wickford, in South Essex. The first Sunday in Lent, this service is themed around Jesus' baptism, and covenants.

Hymns include:

   Isaac Watts' popular Come, let us join our cheerful songs,

   Spirit of the living God,

   On Jordan's Bank, and

   James Edmeston's Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us.

https://soundcloud.com/andy-braunston/urc-daily-devotions-sunday-worship-for-21st-february-2020-the-revd-samuel-cyuma