Parish Weekly Update 26th July 2020

Dearest everyone

It’s amazing to me, sitting here, that as we look around and see and hear what is happening in our country (I can’t cope with the world and the cosmos at the moment), there is no clear picture emerging, no firm ground to stand on and no clear thoughts about how our future will look for us and those we love and pray for. In fact. it seems fuzzier somehow.

All we can do is to take each day as it comes and offer to God to do one small thing each day that will make a difference to someone or some situation somewhere.

In the bigger picture with God, he is unchanging.

He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and ending of our faith.

In God, there is no shadow of change or turning in Him, from whom He is.

He has seen plagues and pestilences off and covered his people with love over time itself and he is doing that with such power today.

I think that is why I write my Facebook prayers each day and take my garden (and other places sometimes) photos, so that we all pray together, all focus on God, who is timeless when we pray (whenever in that day) and, do you know, so many people log into these prayers each day.

These are people we may never know or meet, and we are all reaching out together to God, with one voice.

I was reading of some people who were desperately missing their prayer meetings, of meeting together to pray for those things God was laying on their hearts and the reply came back,

‘You do not need to go to prayer meetings. You are the prayer meetings’, and I loved that!

So together, each day, we form one prayer meeting as we come as one to Him as well as for ourselves.

And that makes us all disciples in that context. And do you know what the plural of disciple is?

The plural of disciples is Church!

Now, at St Mary’s, that means that our church is in a much bigger context than we ever thought of. Not just those in church with us each Sunday and Wednesday.

We will now build on this wider, more amorphous, church. We have now got a dongle (!) in church so we have WiFi in there so we can now record services, music, and take from the web easily as we resource not just the church gathered, each other, but the wider scattered digital church as well.

This will cost us £23.99 per month, but it’s a real step forward. Thank you, Marilyn!

Do many of you remember me talking about Liquid Church as I felt that was what God was calling us to?  Well, we are Liquid Church now, and we need to flow freely to as many people as we can touch with God’s unconditional love and our own faith.

I can’t thank Ian Fogarty enough for all the time and commitment in fulfilling clergy requests with grace and speed!

Our Online giving page will go live soon and we will let you all know about that!

Fr Mark continues to train and inspire people to move into our digital world and we cover him, Sarah and James with our love this summer.

This week our holiday provision begins for our little people.

Ian and Chris Fogarty have enabled this by creating an Eventbrite page and moving into such a professional way of letting people buy in to what we can offer.

Sue has attached the leaflets that have gone out personalising the main Edsential advert (thank you, Ian) so you can see what we are doing.

An update next week but I would think over 200 children will be coming to my Vicarage (30 max) or to a tent in the Church Centre (!) to collect Rainy day bags (thank you, Julie), weekly activity sheets (thank you, Nikki) and wildlife safaris in my garden (thank you, Hilary Ash) and woodlands walks (again thanks to Hilary). Not to mention Circus skills and garden games and football training!

My dream team, Julie, Nikki, Jean C, Irene and Sue have caught God’s pastoral vision for this summer and surrounded by a bevy of volunteers, we will see what God has got in waiting for us – picnic bags to the ready!

Could I please though have three gazebos put up in my garden before next Wednesday (29th) so little people will always have a dry patch to sit down on.  Could you let Sue or Jean know if you can loan us one till September?

On 23rd July the Church issued new guidelines about opening churches which have completely confused us all.

It looks like Communion will become a sort of scientific feat and all wearing face masks in church is not something I will look forward to.

I am putting some options together that we can focus on and then the PCC can meet with something in front of them.

I know we all miss the church but thank you to all those on Sue’s rota enabling St Mary’s to be open for prayer. And please keep the lavender coming in for the war memorial as well, thank you!

I had a good few days away which has taken the edge off how I felt.

Thank you for all your love and prayers for both of us.

Take care this week, I am here waiting for you if you need to chat!

Beth x