Friday 30th July
Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. (Psalm 31:5)
These words of the psalmist David convey his complete trust in God. Jesus used the same words, dying on the cross – showing his total dependence upon God. Stephen, the first martyr, spoken these words as he was stoned to death – confident that in death he was simply passing from God’s earthly care to his eternal care.
At the end of our lives, we might have the courage to think (or we may hope this will happen), “Into your hands I commend my spirit.” But don’t leave it until then, we should trust God with everything, now, in this life! “Into your hands I commend……my family, my vocation, my possessions; all of my life.” This is the God of truth; you can trust Him with your whole life…..your spiritual life and your physical life; “Into your hands, God, I commend my life.”
Easing of Covid restrictions in public worship(Effective from Sunday 25th July 2021)You will be aware, I'm sure, of the lifting of Covid restrictions by the Government from the 19th July. In a nutshell, the Government have lifted all the restrictions on public worship........ and put the onus upon individual churches to decide what they want to do and how we keep everyone in our churches safe!The churchwardens and I have been looking through the 12-page document from the CoE Recovery Group, and working out what we think is the way forward for our three churches in the benefice. Where possible we have tried to be consistent across the three churches, but the physical layout and other factors are different between the churches so there are some parts of our guidelines that are specific to each church.We have tried, through all of this, to tread the path between wanting to ease restrictions, considering the anxieties of those who will feel vulnerable if there are no restrictions whatsoever, and being aware of the rising Covid numbers nationally/locally and our responsibilities to everyone. Inevitably there will be differences of opinion on what we have decided, but this will be continually reviewed with experience, feedback, and any changes to the guidelines from the Government or CoE Recovery Group.The detail is in a leaflet available at church and is on the Coronavirus page of the website. Here are the salient points:
Face coverings: optional
Social distancing: optional
(In both cases, please respect other people’s wishes)
Please use the sanitiser on entry and exit
NHS Test & Trace:
Please use the QR code, or the Register.
Congregational Singing - will take place
“Safe zone” – use the far right hand side
Peace: non-contact exchange
Communion: bread and wine by “simultaneous administration”
Refreshments: served after the service
Direction Finder : TN17 4DL
“Services” and Prayer:
Please make use of the beautiful quiet space in St. George's Church any day for individual private prayer; prayer resources are available. If there is something particular you would like prayer for, please send me an email or give me a call.
Services:Services, in church, are as follows: (The 10 o'clock Sunday service is recorded and available here once edited.)25th: 10am St. Nicholas - service link1st August: 8am St. Nicholas, 10am St. George's8th: 8am St. George's, 10am St. Nicholas15th: 8am St. Nicholas, 10am St. George's22nd: 8am St. George's, 10am St. Nicholas29th: 8am St. George's, 10am St. NicholasMorning Prayer takes place at 8am on Mon, Tues, Wed and Friday.Monday, Wednesday and Friday are at St. George's. Tuesday is at the Mission Church Sandhurst.(It is no longer being streamed live.)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . . . Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
Now is still a time to care for your neighbour. Please, pick up the phone, speak to them. We are a strong community, a caring community. Together we are getting through this.
Finally, I encourage you to use these prayers when you get up and when you go to bed:
A prayer in the morning:
Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples, ‘I am with you always’. Be with me today, as I offer myself to you. Hear my prayers for others and for myself, and keep me in your care. Amen.
A prayer in the evening:
God our Father, by whose mercy the world turns safely into darkness and returns again to light,:we place in your hands our unfinished tasks, our unsolved problems, and our unfulfilled hopes, knowing that only what you bless will prosper. To your love and protection we commit each other and all those we love, knowing that you alone are our sure defender, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Keep safe. Keep well. Keep praying. God bless you. With love, David