Dear Christ Church URC

17 March

Hello Christ Church URC,

We have been advised by the URC to close down worship services, church activities and physical meetings as a response to the government’s guidance.

 

Therefore, until further notice this will be the case.

 

Obviously this is a difficult time for us all and we want to continue to worship, communicate and support one another through these strange and challenging times.

 

We will therefore be putting a number of things in place:

Members will all receive a personal phone call, as not everyone is on email,  we will use our telephone tree throughout this time of isolation to keep a check on one another

I will offer weekly acts of worship through a Youtube clip, which you will be sent the link to on Sunday morning. All you will need to do is click on the link to watch the clip. For those who are not on email we will deliver a CD with the worship on that they will be able to listen to on a CD player. We are aware of those folks in our congregation who will need a CD

I will notify you of when the church will be open for times of personal  prayer – we will ask you to please wash your hands in the bathrooms at the entrance of the church and on entry to the church to use hand sanitiser. Also please stay a safe distance away from one another

We have a prayer WhatsApp group that Kerry McMenamin in running and please do join it. Text Kerry your name and number and she will add you to the group – [number removed – please message via the website and we will add you to the group] We pray each night at 9pm ‘together’

The URC has a daily devotions that you can sign up to and from this weekend they will be providing a Sunday act of worship as well,  you can sign up with this link if you have not already devotions.urc.org.uk

 

There are a number of people in the church who have offered to pick up groceries, medication and odd jobs for folks who need the help, so please contact Kat, Fiona or myself and let us know what you need and we will co-ordinate our volunteers

Please be assured that we will all get through this tough period together. We will be able to worship together in different ways, God is with us no matter what form this worship takes. It is potentially an exciting opportunity to find new ways to worship together, to communicate differently and to support one another.

Please be assured of my love and prayers and please do be in touch with what ever you need over the coming weeks.

Take care and stay safe,

Rev Nadene Snyman

 

16 March

Kerry has kindly setup a WhatsApp prayer group to bring us together in prayer at this difficult time and has asked us to share the following:

Christ Church Petts Wood daily prayer group (for all those affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)) – join this special WhatsApp group and each day we will share people, groups and situations on our minds at this time. As a group we can pray together in our separate homes.

At 9pm each evening a virtual candle will be lit and those that can, will spend some time together in prayer. It doesn’t matter if you can’t do it every day at that time, you can offer prayers for all those mentioned at a time that works for you. If you’d like to be part of this group, contact us and leave you name and mobile number and we will add you to the group.  

Just a reminder that by being added to the group you are agreeing to those people within the prayer group to be able to see your mobile number.

In addition to this if you are able to help those people self-isolating by phoning them, dropping shopping round or posting mail please let us know on the contact us form as we are collating these details.

As we mentioned at church on 15 March we have setup a telephone tree so that we can contact people and you will hear from an Elder if there are any changes to services and activities.

Kind regards & every blessing. 

Kat (Church Secretary)

15 March A prayer for uncertain times

A prayer as we face the Coronavirus (COVID-19) – URC Website

Eco-Church

Living God,

In our hour of need we turn again to you, for we have nowhere else to turn.

We put our faith in you, because you have proved your faithfulness time and again.

We reaffirm our love for you because you have never let us go.

We thank you that you are not distant from us but have drawn near, in your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

He has shared our life, tasted our death and defeated it;

He understands our worries and our fears.

Help us to respond as your children now.

We pray for this pandemic spreading across our world, remembering all who have lost loved ones.

and praying for those seriously ill at this time.

We uphold the National Health Service as it responds to this added pressure on its already overstretched services.

We pray for doctors and nurses and all in the caring professions, who work to help and support people as best they can.

We remember those working behind the scenes testing samples, confirming results, giving information to patients.

We uphold others trying to understand this virus better, working to create an effective remedy.

We pray for our Governments in Westminster and Holyrood, as they work with the best medical advice, to guide us on how we should respond, and what action we should take.

We pray that the guidelines might be taken seriously and that all would put them into action.

May this crisis bring out the best in us, not the worst.

Help us to live by faith and not by fear;

to build bridges not barriers, and to resist all who would speak ill of any other group.

May we not forget our responsibility to one another, not least to the vulnerable and voiceless in our communities.

Help us to find ways of keeping in touch and offering reassurance to those with underlying health issues; for any who feel particularly vulnerable or in danger at present.

As the virus spreads we pray for the disruption it causes to normal life, bringing new fears and anxieties:

We pray for those who have been laid off as their work disappears;

for financial hardship for individuals and businesses;

for the impact on the economy and pensions, when austerity has already left its mark.

We pray for those whose trips, both for business and pleasure, have been cancelled;

and others where events, long anticipated and planned for, have been postponed;

for those making contingency planning for home based work or child care or exams.

May our inconvenience not blind us to others’ loss.

We remember those who cannot visit loved ones in locked-down care homes;

for the elderly whose social contacts have been severely curtailed;

help us to find creative ways of keeping in touch, of assuring them they are not forgotten or ignored.

May congregations find new ways of living though this time.

May we not forget our faith, but draw strength from it.

So may our worship be heartfelt, our fellowship deepen and our service increase.

God of grace and God of mercy, hear our prayers at this time.

Strengthen us, by your Spirit, so that:

we may carry on our lives as best as we are able,

looking out for others,

showing love in action,

being faithful in prayer,

and bringing encouragement, hope and peace;

always trusting in you.

our Rock and our Redeemer.

These prayers we bring to you.

in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

 

13 March

This virus has caused unprecedented decisions to be made and obviously there are concerns for all of us at this time. We are sad not to be hosting Synod as we were looking forward to giving Southern Synod our Christ Church welcome, but we understand the difficulty for the URC in navigating this crisis.

However, it is in times such as this, that we should remain calm and care for one another. The rampant individualism that has characterised some of societies response, we want to guard against. We must not give into selfish desires but rather be generous. We must focus on our concern for one another.

Please pick up the phone and chat to someone who you may be concerned about, or that you may feel is particularly vulnerable at this time. Why not offer to get groceries for those who may find going out difficult?

Let our faith triumph over our fear.

Friends we are there for each other as a community of faith in all things and in all times.

Sending love and concern, Nadene

See updated URC guidance below:

https://urc.org.uk/news/3365-urc-issues-coronavirus-advice-to-its-churches