Service for 20/12/2020 by Revd David Howlett
Good morning, I hope I find you well and in increasing good spirits.
Once again I have completed my weekly shop first thing on Monday with low footfall.
Today I understand that the vaccine is supposedly with 100 local surgeries across the UK for vaccination, beginning, some today, and some tomorrow; the roll out seems to be happening according to plan. Today also Mr Joe Biden, will be officially elected as the new President of the United States, by the Electoral College, I do not imagine that that will curtail President Trump’s protestations that he was robbed of his second term of presidency. Of course over the weekend as well, the umpteenth deadline for completion of UK/EU Brexit negotiations implementation lapsed, with a continuation of the struggle to find some agreement with our friends in Europe: no surprise there!
I am no longer sure where the UK R number is, but endeavouring to hold it below 1, remains important for the nations wellbeing. As infection increases in some areas, we are urged by science and common sense, that our actions, and example, are conducive to reducing R still further. Once again I would refer you to https://urc.org.uk/coronavirus.html for URC advice on all Covid-19 matters.
Regarding gatherings at Christmas, and the relaxation of measures in place immediately before that time: it does seem to me, that the excessive exuberance which takes place during the festive season, insofar as close mixing is concerned, should be avoided as much as possible. Inevitably such mixing increases infection and will mean that the mortality rate within the country will rise. That sadly is the stark reality of a relaxing of safety measures in any degree. Covid-19 takes no prisoners.
Wherever we are over the Christmas period, the true celebration, is of the arrival of Jesus the healer. That healing will take place for the whole world in the near future, and will enable once again the free mixing of all, and indeed, what is called the traditional family Christmas, to take place for many years to come, for those who would not have been with us, had we been more realistic in 2020.
As usual, with this email, I attach the service for next Sunday 20th December, 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 Wycliffe 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.