Service for 24/1/2021 by Revd David Howlett

Dear friends

I hope I find you all well this morning , just as the sun is rising, and it looks at least, as though the first part of the day will be  delightful. First of all, let me assure you all  having had the vaccine on the 7th, I’m now 11 days into it’s ‘beginning to become effective’ period. Absolutely no side effects have been encountered, and I would encourage everybody, given the opportunity to take the vaccine, to accept the offer. I continue to be impressed that the NHS is making a really good job of the largest inoculation venture which it has ever undertaken. A great thank you to all who are working within the NHS, not only in the vaccination but in the caring of the sick across the country.

This week one of our concerns will be the inauguration of the new American president Joe Biden , and I’m sure we all wish him well in the enormous task which he is undertaking to build bridges rather than walls. At this time we should pray for all the nations at this critical time, as we struggle to relieve the suffering which Covid-19 has caused. Thanks be to God, that He provides the dedication and skill for humanity to find its way through.

It must be emphasised at this time, that although the vaccination may offer a substantial degree of protection to those vaccinated, it will not necessarily prevent asymptomatic spread of Covid-19, so it is still important, that even those vaccinated should take every precaution to protect others,  by assuming that they themselves are infectious. Stay at home, wear face protection if in contact with others, leave good spacing, and comply with the Lockdown rules, these simple measures will relieve the pressure on the NHS and save lives.

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 mean time, 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 further updated 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 24th January,  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 our Oadby URC.

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.

David

Support Papers 24.1.21

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