I hope I find you well, as we seem to be halfway through the present lockdown, and hopefully moving towards the use of the new Pfizer vaccine. Interestingly, over the weekend, the two virologists, whose dedication has brought forth this vaccine, appeared on television. It was interesting to learn that both of them are Turkish/German refugees, no doubt Muslims to boot. Two of those whom we in the wealthy West, and I include the UK in that description, have sought to prevent entry. It is they who have led the fight to save the world from the present pandemic. How foolish we appear to be in rejecting so many who come to us in destitution, so many who are prepared to work with devotion, to save and support our nations. Well we can only struggle for more compassion to be shown to the destitute of the world.
Of course the Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at minus 80 degrees centigrade, and it would therefore seem that its use will be limited to those countries with moderate climate and reasonably sophisticated storage facilities. However it is most important that from the whole emerging list of vaccines, their distribution should be freely available to the whole world. It is only in so doing that the scourge of COVID-19 can be eradicated.
Once again our churches find themselves in complete lockdown, with the exception of use for distribution of food packages to those in need. Regarding further use of our buildings I would refer you to the latest advice given on the URC website: https://urc.org.uk/church-information-guides/3623-when-should-a-church-consider-closing-in-light-of-increasing-rates-of-coronavirus.html and the first link from this Coronavirus advice page: https://urc.org.uk/coronavirus.html
As usual, with this email, I attach the service for next Sunday 22nd November, at this early opportunity. The service is in the form of low level technology, so that those who have access to simple emails may receive it, and may forward it on to our other brothers and sisters whose email addresses I do not have, with minimum effort, should it be felt appropriate. Now that folk have established a routine for those to whom they forward a copy of the service, I commit the circulation to Blind Carbon Copy. The pdf contains the hymn words, largely from ‘Rejoice & Sing’, so that you may sing along, as I know you do. Some prayers and the readings for the day, from the Revised Common Lectionary, on which the URC Prayer Handbook is based, are included. Under normal circumstances, a modified version of this service would have taken place at Anstey URC, this Sunday.
May I once again remind you of the very excellent services and devotions which the URC is providing at: https://devotions.urc.org.uk/
Blessings to all, as you remain in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for all you continue to do.