Newsletter & Prayer Diary May 2020
Ever since I remember as a Christian and for the last 12 years as ordained clergy, the highlight of my week has been going to the church, singing, fellowshipping, praying, hearing of God’s faithfulness, encouraging fellow believers and proclaiming God’s word.
But this isn’t possible now, I long to gather with you in the church and lift my voice with you in praises to our Lord. I so want to pray with you and for you, I want to talk to the children and as and when circumstance permit to sit and listen to the Word preached, but I can’t, and I miss seeing you all and worshipping God. And we know that due to Covid19 it may be weeks even months before we gather again for worship.
How, then, do we navigate these days, to make sure we stay in contact, remain warm in our spiritual affections, and find ways to minister to one another?
The reality is that we can’t do everything we’re used to doing. Hopefully that will change. But for now, we must find joy and consistency in opportunities God has given us. There are a few things we can certainly do.
Pray for One Another.
It is imperative that we pray for each other, I am sure that you are already doing so, can I request that as soon as you hear about someone’s need please let me know and let others know so that we can all pray for each other.
Communicate with one another.
While social distancing may hinder our social meetings, it doesn’t stop us from using phone, text, FaceTime, handwritten notes, and other media. Can I suggest that each person communicates with three people from church every week, plus try and communicate with a person you don’t know well to start building relationship.
Increase devotional life.
These are strange times, but I also believe God has somehow given us this amazing opportunity, and so my desire is that during this time, more so than ever, we all grow in spiritual disciplines of Word, prayer, meditation, Scripture memory, and worship.
To help us achieve that, there is something posted on the website (www.sccparish.church) every day, a huge thank you to the Salkeld’s especially to Aimee Salkeld who has put in a lot of effort in coordinating this.
Music Monday – a playlist/videos published on the website
Trusting Tuesday – a prayer (or prayers)
Worship Wednesday – a music video and some thoughts
Thoughtful Thursday – a thought for the day/reflection
Fellowship Friday – we are hoping this day will be used by groups to keep in touch via social media (or some form of technological means)
Scripture Saturday – a Bible verse
Also on Sundays our full services are published on our website, a huge thank you to Matt Bragg for coordinating these services and publishing it on the website, and a huge thank you to all those who are continuing to take part in the services, and to those who visit the website, which helps us all worship God in more creative and relaxed ways.
Maintain Pastoral Care.
Consider ways to keep up pastoral contact. Use phone calls and personal notes to encourage and keep up with the members of the congregation, family and friends.
If you know of someone who has any pastoral care need please do get in touch with me or Valerie Johnson. I am already amazed at the care that has been offered in our church community, I keep hearing of how people have helped people and I want to thank you all, please keep up the good work.
If there are needs in the community that you could not personally handle then please get in touch with SW WATCH, you can contact them via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 07401328516. They are covering Scotby, Warwick, Wetheral, Aglionby, Corby and Holme Eden areas.
Our present isolation will end, this pandemic cannot rob us of relationships in the body of Christ. We are living through hard realities at present but as we do this we hold onto strong hope; the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. The light of Christ will not be extinguished as we seek to live Christ-centred, outward-focussed lives, we can be a light to those around us in these difficult times.
Thank you for sharing in the gospel of Christ and in bringing hope and comfort to those in need.
Please be assured of my prayers for you.
Prayer diary May 2020
- With the coronavirus lock down, cases of domestic abuse have increased, pray for those living in abusive relationships.
- Pray today for David and Valerie as they celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.
- Lord, we hold before you all who are mourning at this time. Bring them comfort and let their memories of good times outweigh those which cause pain.
- In this anxious and uncertain time, take care to stay connected with God each day, asking him to give you the peace that passes all understanding.
- Pray for teachers and students who have returned to schools. Pray for them as they engage in online learning, pray especially for those pupils whose home life is very dysfunctional.
- Ask God to protect those who care for elderly and disabled in our community.
- Pray for the ministry we offer in our communities, pray that the Lord will bless us as a church, and provide all that we need to continue to serve the wider community.
- As the isolation and other measures continue pray for your family and friends that God will give them patience and endurance.
- Pray for our mission partners, and the impact coronavirus has had upon their ministry.
- Pray that people who are isolated will find ways to support their mental health. Keep in touch with any known to you.
- Pray for the couples who were due to get married this year, for those who have had to postpone their weddings, and those who are still uncertain if their weddings can go ahead as planned.
- Pray for young people who have been preparing for exams only to find that exams are cancelled and normal contact with school friends severely curtailed.
- Pray for the families who have had to postpone baptisms and are not certain as to when the baptisms will happen.
- Pray for our national and local government leaders, especially for the Queen and for Borris Johnson our Prime minister, that they would have wisdom to do what is best for all.
- Give thanks for those who are keeping essential services running, those working in supermarkets and pharmacies, those maintaining the communications and transport infrastructure, those ensuring essential deliveries are getting through, and those keeping our streets safe and clean.
- Pray for business affected by the coronavirus shut down, those who are worried about their jobs, and those who have been made redundant.
- Pray for those in leadership within the diocese, for Bishops’ James and Emma, our Archdeacons, Lee, Vernon and Richard, and those who work in Church House in Penrith.
- Pray for our rural dean Edward Johnsen, and for the clergy in the Brampton Deanery.
- Pray for those who have lost loved ones as a result of coronavirus.
- Pray that when the coronavirus crisis has passed, Britain may be a more caring and tolerant society.
- Pray for the church nationally in a time of great change, give thanks for the ways in which social media has been so powerfully used to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the diocese as it is likely to face some difficult financial challenges as a result of coronavirus and the closure of so many churches.
- Pray for those whose operations or investigations in hospital have been postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pray that those needing urgent treatment will receive it as soon as possible.
- Pray for people who are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19, the elderly and people with chronic health conditions. Ask God to protect them from harm and be their comfort in this time of uncertainty.
- Pray that the church locally and nationally will be open to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit.
- Pray that after this pandemic is over there will be a spirit of greater co-operation between the nations of the world.
- Thank you, Lord, for all who work with the hungry and homeless. Give them strength as they daily strive to ameliorate the situations they find.
- We pray today for families where relationships are broken. May there be unity, healing and peace in their lives.
- Loving Lord, bring your healing touch to all whose mental health is compromised, that they may find their way to a place of calm and positivity.
- Remember in prayer all those unable to visit their loved ones who are being looked after in care homes, and anyone who will be unable to travel to reach their loved ones.
- Remember in prayer those who are unable to attend their regular activities, (which may have been cancelled) and are feeling lonely, and any who are self-isolating, who may well be missing friends’ company.
- Elliot Chambers
- Martin Long
- Betty Marshall
- Celia Beatie
Please keep the families of Elliot, Martin, Celia and especially Betty in your prayers. Rob and Betty have been faithful members of our church family for a very long time, and we have been blessed by the ministry, fellowship and hospitality of the Marshall family. So please remember, Rob, their daughters, Irene, Ruth, Caroline and their families in your prayers in this difficult time.
Many congratulations to Sue and Ian Powley as they welcome their first grandchild, Mildred Jane, daughter of Steve and Lucinda.
Congratulations to David and Valerie Johnson on their golden wedding anniversary.
Schedule of Online Services
3 May – Isaac
10 May – Steve S
17 May – Isaac leading, Alison Jary preaching
24 May – Derek
31 May – Isaac
A word of Encouragement.
Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
This verse is so simple in its meaning, and it offers great comfort to those going through difficult times. It is addressed primarily to the exiled Jews during their long captivity in Babylon, but the realization is that we who are the Lord’s people have nothing to fear.
The reason why we should not be afraid is because God promises that He is with us. God was their protector and He is certainly ours. Romans 8:31 assures us, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” What better comfort can there possibly be? The Lord is for us, for you and He is far bigger, greater and stronger than anything or anybody.
So, if you feel afraid at times, especially in the present circumstances remember that the Lord is able to preserve and strengthen you during your most difficult trials. The God of heaven is our God. He is all powerful, and that power guarantees our protection. In every sense of the word, we have nothing to fear. For those who have put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, are assured that the Lord is strong enough to protect them during the hard times. He promises that, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”
So, “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Amen.