Newsletter 6th September

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Sunday 6th September 2020

Welcome to a slightly different Newsletter!

This might look very like the newsletters we began to send out during lockdown, but it’s now starting to take on a different character and purpose. Church is meeting again; Myland Parish Halls are gradually opening again; it’s great that many of us are seeing each other again regularly, even if on a socially-distanced basis, and even though we have to wear masks!

It’s the new normal for Newsletters

All but a few of our members receive these emails, so we’ve decided that it will replace the monthly printed Newsletters. It will be fortnightly, so news items and details of events can get to you as soon as they’re known, rather than waiting for next month. We’ll include the week’s diary and points for prayer; the regular daily Prayer Diary will continue and there’ll be a message from Ray or another of the Clergy – or even a Bishop, as this time. There will be some printed copies in Church for those who don’t receive emails.

It’s your Newsletter too

So if you have a news item, something you would like everyone to know, someone we need to pray for, a word of encouragement or ideas for the future, just drop us a line at office@mylandchurch.org.uk or by replying to this email.

This week

So let’s start with the Church diary.

Sunday 6th: Parish Communion in Church at 10:15am. We’re pleased to say that attendance continues to grow, and we have reached the point where only 4 people joined us on Facebook Live last week. But it has been very encouraging to see that each video is viewed over 100 times after the event. Unfortunately we won’t be able to broadcast the service this Sunday - unless we can train up a new volunteer. Could that be you?

Monday 7th: Sarah is back in the office from Today and Myland Pre-school restarts in the Halls; staff are in today, and children return on Tuesday 7th.

Wednesday 9th: Morning Prayer in Church at 10:15am. This is a quiet time of worship for half an hour, with Bible readings and prayer.

Thursday 10th: Bible Study groups continue on Zoom at 2:30pm and 7:30pm. Log in to whichever time is convenient for you; at the moment we’re looking at Paul’s letters to Timothy. It’s so easy to join in – if you have Zoom on your computer, i-pad or phone, then the meeting number is 250-589-2419 and the passkey is 2820. If not, click here from 2:15 or 7:15 and you’ll go straight there, even without Zoom!

Sunday 13th: Parish Communion in Church at 10:15am. The Order of Service will vary from week to week, and we hope to include Baptisms in the near future. Though the congregation aren’t allowed to sing at the moment, it’s good that we have music from the organ or keyboard.

Church Online

Church website: Please visit www.mylandchurch.org.uk regularly, where there’s lots of information and resources, and where news items may be posted even before the next weekly Newsletter.

Facebook: The Church’s Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/mylandchurch/, where we’ll put news for the whole community to see. Also, all the services which were live-streamed can still be viewed there: the heading says the date, who led and who preached, and what the readings were, so you should be able to find any service you are looking for!

Hayward’s Hope: Revd Sarah and Tim continue to post videos each week on their YouTube channel. Access them here – they are inspiring times of worship for all the family. A new video premieres at 9am each Sunday.

Important news

The Halls Car Park has a very uneven surface. There is a sign to say that there is no entry except for staff and for access vehicles, and now additional signs warn of the uneven surface and that those entering the car park on foot or in vehicles do so at their own risk.

The issue is that many of the plastic grids which assist drainage and retain the top surface have risen through the gravel and have become a trip hazard. This has worsened because the car park has had little use in recent months.

 

We could obtain quotations for the remedial work, but as both the Church and Halls are losing money rather than making it at the moment, the PCC decided that we can’t say when it will be put right.

 

New rotas begin this week (for observation only for the first few weeks). Copies have been handed to everyone who is on a rota. After that if you find you are unable to fulfil a duty any week, please do two things – pass the duty on to someone else who’s on that rota, and tell a Churchwarden so that we know who will be filling in for you. Thanks very much for your help!

Points for Prayer

Please pray especially this week for:

  • Everyone going back to school, college or university – for safety, and a happy reunion or the making of new friends.
  • Those on the Church’s Prayer List – for healing, peace and joy
  • Recovery from Covid-19 especially in hard-hit countries and a gradual return to normal everywhere

And finally, a reflection

Rt Revd Peter Hill, Acting Bishop of Chelmsford

If there is one thing I have learnt afresh in these last months of the pandemic it is that I am not in control. I would really love to be, but I am not! These last months have been a sharp and salutary reminder of one of the truths at the heart of all of our lives: this is God’s world, not ours.

The journey through the pandemic continues. We are now well into the period of learning to co-exist with the virus and the many challenges that it still presents, particularly how to be the Church of Christ when our worship remains restricted and our buildings are not able to fully function.

In many respects it has been and remains a wilderness experience and the biblical wilderness stories suggest that is where God’s people, and even the Lord Jesus himself, learn the most truth about themselves and their heavenly Father, especially that the world and our lives are not ours to control. Early in August, I found myself reflecting on Elijah’s experience in the wilderness in 1 Kings 19:1-13. It is a powerful and mystical passage. Elijah has hidden himself in a cave: it has all become too much for him. Despite his success over the prophets of Baal, he is in fear of Jezebel’s revenge and feels as if he is all alone in the world. But God calls him out, from the cave to the mountain saying, ‘What are you doing here Elijah?’ and in doing so creates a real disturbance of earthquake, wind, and fire: yet God is not present in either. Rather God comes to him in a sheer silence, a low whisper or as I still prefer in the older translation of the difficult Hebrew, a still small voice. It is that still small voice that calls Elijah out to the entrance of the cave to respond, emptying his heart to the Lord. Immediately the Lord gives him three distinct tasks to accomplish and a promise of protection and fellowship.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused real disturbance in our lives and ministries, but the Lord has remained with us, in it and through it. Now he calls us out and still speaks in that still small voice, asking, ‘What are you doing here?’

Every September we gear up for a new season of mission and ministry as disciples and leaders in God’s church. So much has changed since last September and that gearing up this year will be very different. Our task, in parish, plant, deanery and diocese is to come out again to the quiet call of our God and do those few but crucial things he lays on our hearts and under that call. We are not in control, he is: let’s each listen, come out and do it.

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Yours in Jesus

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