Newsletter 2nd August

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Sunday 2nd August

It’s been so wonderful to see each other in Church for our Sunday and Wednesday services, and we look forward to the day when everyone can be back together. we hope to welcome increasing numbers to Church each week, and until we can say that things are ‘normal’, we will continue to broadcast on Facebook Live.

Before lockdown, we had a pattern of different services for each Sunday of the month. For now, Sundays will be Holy Communion using different Orders of Service, and Wednesdays will be Morning Prayer. All services start at 10:15am.

 

For your safety

When you enter Church, you’ll see that we have made all the arrangements to abide by the rules for social distancing, and we have five Stewards on hand at all times to guide everyone. Hand sanitiser is available; seats are at least 2 metres apart, though households can sit together of course; and whilst singing isn’t currently allowed there is music to inspire us – plus all the other vital elements of a full service of worship.

Face coverings are not required where venues have measures in place to protect staff and members of the public. These include leisure centres, cinemas, concert halls and theatres. There is no regulation with regard to Churches. The Church of England strongly recommends that they are worn, and we pass this advice to you; but this remains a matter of personal choice. Our Clergy will not be wearing face coverings to lead the service as they will lead from a safe distance, but will wear them to administer communion.

For those who just can’t get to Church, it’s a blessing to take part in the service from home by watching on a computer, tablet, smartphone or smart TV. And as the recording always stays available online, we can watch again at any time. Have you seen us on Facebook yet? If you can receive this email, you can see us on Facebook without any fuss and without downloading any software. Just click on these words and you’ll go straight there!

If you’re at home watching the service, why not take part by posting a comment? It’s a way of greeting other people, commenting on the sermon (or challenging what’s been said!) and asking for prayer.

And if you’ve watched and made responses, you might have found that you can’t see the words on screen very clearly because of glare. A printable copy of the Order of Service which you can follow is here /content/pages/documents/1596187322.pdf. Print the pages double-sided, and you’ll have the kind of sheet that we use in Church!

Even though we’re open, income from offerings is still way down, and we can’t meet all our bills! A massive thank-you to everyone who is continuing their sacrificial giving through this difficult period. If you can’t get to Church yet, could we suggest setting up a Standing Order to our account?

The details are as follows:

Bank: Santander

Sort Code: 09-01-55

Account Name: St Michaels Myland PCC Account Number: 53653601

Reference: Giving

Those details can also be used to make a one-off donation, of course. Thank you for all your generosity, in so many ways!

 

36F97F4EAs well as being live on Facebook, we have the YouTube channel hosted by Sarah & Tim Hayward and family. It’s called Hayward’s Hope; there are new videos every week and they also stay online to be viewed anytime.

 

Bible Study this Thursday afternoon and evening

 

We’re still on Zoom for Bible Studies! Yes, Bible Study continues at 2:30pm on Thursdays, with another group at 7:30pm on Thursdays. Last week we studied Paul’s letter to the Ephesians; each week we ask people what they would like to look at next, so we can’t tell you what that will be! Why not join us in the Zoom Room in the afternoon or evening for an informal time of study and fellowship, and have your say on what we look at next! 

Services on Wednesdays

We’d love to have Church services every day – but for the moment we have to leave 72 hours between services. That’s why we’re only open on Sundays and Wednesday mornings.

The service of Morning Prayer at 10:15am each Wednesday is a quiet time of prayer and reflection, with of course the opportunity to chat afterwards. We’re pleased that quite a few people come along; do join us. 

Daily Prayer Diary

… so pray every day, using St. Michael’s very own Daily Prayer Diary. The current diary runs out next Thursday, and as our Newsletters are now fortnightly, the next one is attached above.

 

It’s really good to know that several of us are using the prayers, and the Prayer Diary also includes a message from Ray to encourage us.

                    

Church toilet – nearly done!

This week, the toilet itself was installed and the room painted, so it won’t be very long at all before our new facilities can be used! The most difficult part was digging the new drain, which now connects to the drains in Myland Parish Halls.

New concrete has been laid in the Halls driveway, which should be usable again in a few days’ time. The artificial grass at the Halls will soon be relaid, asphalt will cover the areas of the Church path that had to be excavated, and that will complete the Project.

 

 

 And finally…. A reflection

by Rt Revd Peter Hill, Acting Bishop of Chelmsford

 

I lift my eyes to the hills

How will you spend the next few weeks? I hope for most, if not all, it will involve some down time. You have been active in church and supported your community through one of the most troubling periods in our lifetime. You need a rest. Please take one.

At the very least get out into a different landscape, away from the familiar. A change of scene is often how God refreshes our spirits and renews our strength. A few hills underfoot or in the distance may help, they do for me. I am reminded of Psalm 121 and its different levels of interpretation.

    I lift my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come?

    My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1)

The more popular interpretation of this verse is that lifting our eyes to the most majestic elements of God’s creation will help us see the Lord afresh and distract us from besetting problems, and we’ve had plenty of those this pandemic. We can take refuge in the hills, and I have certainly done that on many occasions as a parish priest.

However, the more likely reality in the Psalmist’s mind and experience is that the hills held menace: either of possible attack from robbers to any pilgrim traveller, or more likely the fact that in Israel’s fragmented religious groupings, the hills held the location and threat of ‘high places’ with idol worship that would tempt and lead God’s people astray.

Both interpretations work for us in our contemporary society. Wherever we look and however we rest, our gaze needs to be exclusively on the Lord Jesus Christ. The rest of the Psalm bears this out: if we stand before the one true God, our feet will not stumble, and we will be kept by the one who never sleeps. ‘The Lord is our keeper’ (v.5) sums up the whole psalm, the word keep being repeated four times, assuring us of God’s protection whatever be falls us, in this world or the next. That is surely something to rest on!

My favourite part of any new parish priest’s Licensing Service is when the archdeacon, in the company of the churchwardens, takes the minister to the church door, puts their hand on the latch and in a loud voice proclaims the closing words of this psalm:

    The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in

    from this time forward and forevermore. (v.8)

Whatever has happened with us and to us these last demanding months, and however we feel, those powerful words are worth returning to as we look to the Lord to keep us in his rest.

Much blessing and rest,

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Yours in His name,

Ray, Hazel, Sarah, John, Lesley, Jill, Sarah