Dear all, with another Freedom Day now behind us, I thought it was now time to take stock of where we are at the end of the summer and start to think about autumn.
Clinically, we are still unsure how Covid will continue to shape us, but we had our first formal Staff Meeting on Saturday, and these were our outcomes.
- In September 2021, Cameo will continue to run on Tuesdays 2.00 pm and Little Gems from Tuesday 21st September at 9.30 am (Term Time) for little ones and their carers.
- The frequency for services at St Pater’s, the Church Centre and the Parish Church will remain the same till at least October Half Term.
- JAM and J4U to be reviewed at Half Term in October.
- No track and trace any more but sanitiser and every other pew cordoned off will remain for the time being.
- The 10.00 am service at St Mary’s will remain for the foreseeable future.
- The Staff team will continue to meet monthly on Saturday mornings to put the rota for the next month together and to discuss all parish issues!
Our Hope Weekend will run from Friday to Sunday 10th to 12th September. Its aim is to bring faith and community families together to look at the signs of hope all around us. There will be a meeting on Thursday 26th August this week at 4.00 pm at St Mary’s for anyone who could help me in any way? Please just come and see!
As we come to the end of August and of all our children’s holiday work, a massive thank you to Nikki, Irene and Sue, and all who have helped in any way to make this such a wonderful time with our young families and their carers! There is a resumé in the Parish Magazine this month.
Please see overleaf for a combined Parish prayer for Afghanistan.
This Sunday 29th August, the only service in the parish will be a said (no choir) Holy Communion Service, unstreamed, at 9.15am at St Mary’s.
And, finally – it has been pointed out to me that I may have offended some people about the times of the service a St Mary’s. I just write these updates as if I am speaking to you so please forgive me – I didn’t mean to hurst anyone at all!
Afghanistan is now held by the Taliban. Your thoughts and prayers are urgently needed.
As you continue to see shocking images and hear shocking stories from Afghanistan, we know we need to stand with Afghan people. But knowing how to pray is hard.
Praying with your brother and sister is a spiritual embrace, one that connects two hearts, so they can beat as one for the One.
And what if you run out of words? What if you don’t have enough information to pray?
- . Ask God to guide the citizens in the country in how to deal with whatever terrors, hardships and difficulties they may face. Pray for angels and wisdom and hope.
- will receive the pastoral care that they need and that women will be treated as equal citizens with rights to respect, to be educated and to go out to work.
- . Pray for the schools and educational programs, that somehow they will function. And pray that God will preserve the dignity and wellness of the children, by raising up bold prophetic warriors who will guard children’s safety and fight for their protection from all kinds of abuses.
- . Medicines are in short supply. Pray that clean water continues to run in taps – if water becomes contaminated in the cities, there will be widespread disease and illness.
- . People are struggling right now, because supply chains have broken down – as they are slowly reinitiated, inflation and access is becoming a problem. “The Taliban will first feed their soldiers then us,” a local friend of our ministry says.
- for the day labourers and others who are currently without income.
- . The Taliban government of 20 years ago are known enablers of extremist Islamic organisations. With their newfound control over Afghanistan, the country could be host to a new generation of terror groups.
A prayer for Afghanistan based on Psalm 57:1-5
Have mercy on them, my God, have mercy on them, for in You they take refuge. They will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed. We cry out to God Most High, to God.. He sends from heaven and saves, rebuking those who hotly pursue. God sends forth His love and His faithfulness. Your children in Afghanistan are in the midst of lions, forced to dwell among ravenous beasts. Men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth. Amen.
Please join us in supporting and loving and praying, Vicar Beth