A very good Monday morning to you all – the wonderful weather we’ve enjoyed here in Leicestershire over the past few days, offering the promise of spring, has I hope encouraged us to look to the future with confidence.
Now, with over 20 million of our citizens vaccinated with the first shot, and a tentative programme for release from the lockdown presented by the government last week, the light at the end of the tunnel brightens, but we must not relax our adherence to the safety measures which will ensure that Covid-19 is brought under control. One of our greatest concerns should be that the vaccine is equitably shared across the world, with those countries who do not have the resources to acquire sufficient doses for their citizens.
During the period of the pandemic, I have continually been approached by those concerned as to how the Community of Grace is faring. We rejoice in your continued support during this period, with prayer and financial contributions. Because of your concern, I am taking the opportunity to attach our March/April newsletter for you to circulate, along with the Sunday service. As you will see, the vision and endeavour of the Reverend David Morris, now retired, is being continued and enlarged. Our thanks must go to the marvellous team at CoG, led by Ben Brown, for their tremendous work over a very difficult period.
The general consensus of opinion within the URC, is that circumspection calls for normal church meetings for worship to be suspended until such time as it is clear that there is no longer a high risk of infection. In the meantime, there are a vast number of virtual services which are available and are distributed by many kind hard working Christian people.
Our Synod moderators have issued advice on protection against the effects of the pandemic, which can be found at https://urc.org.uk/church-information-guides/3689-guidance-from-the-synod-moderators-on-closing-church-buildings-for-public-worship.html
As usual, with this email, I attach the service for next Sunday 7th March, 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 largely based are included. Under normal circumstances, a modified version of this service would have been shared with one of our local Churches.
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.