Pastoral Letter From Rev. Felicity

31 March 2020

Dear All,

The peace of God be with you especially at this time.  I hope you are keeping well in this season of self-isolation and social distancing under the shadow cast by the coronavirus threat.

From conversations with some of you it would appear that by and large people are coping well and being resourceful.  We may be isolated from one another but for many this period has provided the incentive to ‘look over each another in love’ with phone calls, texts and other clever technology to keep in touch though I hope there will also be a revival of the good ‘old school’ tradition of putting pen to paper and communicating by means of letter-writing!  Generally people are feeling well-cared for.  Well done everyone.

On this note particular ‘Well done’ also to all who are keeping our website, Facebook and email communications refreshed and with timely information.  You know who you are, Thank you.

Social media has never been more prolific yielding amongst much dross some nuggets of gold such as this thoughtful reflection below:

‘when this is over may we never again take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbours
 A crowded theatre
Friday night out
The taste of Communion
A routine check-up
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath.  A boring Tuesday. Life itself.
When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, we were called to be
And may we stay that way – better for each other because of the worst.’
Laura Kelly Fanucci

When this time is over may we indeed never again take such blessings for granted but remain even more intentional in how we hold and make space for one another.

In the midst of all this Easter approaches.  These solemn times we’re living has in some way helped to make this season of Lent even more meaningful.  Anxiety about the virus and ravages not only in our country but throughout the worlds picks up the ‘heavy’ feeling of Lent with its heavy sense of foreboding as Jesus resolutely makes his way to the Cross.

But Easter however is confirmation that light emerges from the darkest tomb and that our Saviour triumphs even over death!

“See, what a morning gloriously bright,
with the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;
folded the graveclothes, tomb filled with light,
as the angels announce Christ is risen!
See God’s salvation plan, wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice,
fulfilled in Christ, the Man,
for he lives:  Christ is risen from the dead!”

And because he is risen from the dead we know that this time of darkness too shall pass. Hallelujah!

Yet it is most likely that Easter morning we will still be in lockdown.  An Easter morning with churches shut will feel empty and strange indeed.  So how may we make this Easter day in particular meaningful, celebratory and triumphant?

May I suggest that in keeping with our usual Easter tradition of transforming our Lenten cross from an instrument of pain to a resounding affirmation of Christ risen we make for ourselves at home individual crosses and decorate these with flowers, brightly coloured tissue, coloured glass or whatever other imaginative ways you wish with whatever you have to hand, to hang in our windows or doors as a symbol of our resurrection faith.
We could take pictures of our floral crosses and in time to come perhaps make it into a display on the website or in church?

And so as we journey through these times may we do so together albeit at the prescribed distance; continuing to keep one another in our prayers and watching over each other in love.

Let us remember all in prayer all our Essential workers.  NHS staff and all healthcare workers; ambulance men and women.  For bin collectors and postmen and women; for truck drivers and grocery store workers; for police, armed forces men and women and fire fighters; for our government and people in power and for the many other working the frontline for our sake.  May God protect and renew their strength.

With very best wishes, love and prayer