UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
Craig’s letter of 20 May 2020
I hope you and your loved ones are managing to keep well and safe as these extraordinary days continue. Although there has been some relaxation in the restraints around going out, for a lot of people little will have changed and that includes many in the church, so we will continue to offer what we can to support fellowship, worship and prayer.
I have mentioned earlier in this season of Easter how God surprises us when life seems dark. (I may not have used those exact words but that was the sentiment.) In these troubling times I have found myself pleasantly surprised!
There is an annual conference in the United States for preachers in which I have managed to participate twice in the last 12 years. I was not intending to travel to Georgia to share in it this year but because of Covid-19 the conference has gone online and I have been able to participate.
I was inspired by one of the contributors today who was preaching on Romans chapter 8. Two things in particular that she said stayed with me. The first was, ‘Faith is holding onto God’s promises and living towards them, even with no sign of fulfilment’. The second was, ‘God’s glory is better than whatever circumstances we’re in right now’.
These are reminders of the hope that God gives us in a time when there is a tendency to despair. It’s not saying that ‘everything will be all right in the end’ but rather that there is something much bigger than the darkness we find ourselves in and we, people of faith, are encouraged/invited/commanded to live as if that were true. The Holy Spirit, whose coming we will celebrate next week, helps us to do that.
Tomorrow, Thursday 21st May, is Ascension Day: the day that Jesus ascended into heaven. I have prepared a short service and reflection which will be available from 7.30 pm on the website and phone line. It lasts less than half an hour, so it will finish in time if you wish to clap for the NHS at 8pm.
Sunday 24th May
Sunday worship continues to be available each week from 10.30 am on the Church website or by calling the dedicated phone number 020 3870 2810. Only the most recent service is available by phone but all the previous services can be accessed through the website.
If you have any suggestions as to how the services might be improved we would be pleased to hear them.
Virtual Coffee and Fellowship by Zoom
Last week’s virtual coffee was not an unqualified success because Zoom suffered from a worldwide systems failure last Sunday. We are sorry for those who tried and couldn’t join us but those that we were able to be in the meeting had some good conversations.
Undaunted, we will try again this coming Sunday, starting after the service at 11.45am. The meeting joining codes are:
Time: May 24, 2020 11:45 AM London
Meeting ID: 874 9842 5814
Again we will use breakout rooms for conversations in small groups so that everyone can enjoy time talking and listening to others.
The Church Meeting which should have been held on this coming Sunday is cancelled. The Elders and Management Committee continue to meet handling any urgent matters and will advise Church Meeting when it next meets.
May God bless you in your place as we recall that Jesus left Jerusalem and Galilee so he could be in all places.
Yours in Christ,