A Weekly Message during Lockdown from St Peter’s Vicar, Rev John Rainer
This week, can I first draw your attention to several things which will be different about our online worship this coming Sunday (24th), as follows:
This month’s Messy Church will be online on our YouTube channel from 3.30pm. As a result, there won’t be any All Age Worship at 9.30am this Sunday, but we will be back next week.
There will, however, be a service of Morning Worship online at 10.45am on the topic of ‘Supporting Each Other’ which will be led by a team of lay people.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Every year the 18th to 25th January is marked nationally as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. You may recall that we have often participated in a ministers’ pulpit exchange with the other churches in Shipley, and also hosted united services for all Christians. Clearly we can’t presently do anything like this, unless we do it online. So Shipley Christians Together have worked on an online united service which will be available on their YouTube channel here all day on Sunday from 9am. We would encourage you to watch it, perhaps as an evening service on Sunday – there will be no separate evening service from St Peter’s this week.
I would like to thank all those who have been corresponding with me following my suggestion that we should make the Letter to the Hebrews a key part of our present Bible Study. Jessica Criddle has very helpfully sent me details about two readily available resources to help those of us who feel that they need assistance in understanding the book. The first is a YouTube clip from the Bible Project which can be found here.
The other is Tom Wright’s excellent commentary ‘Hebrews for Everyone’ which is designed to be used for both individual and group study. It is published by SPCK and can be ordered online and is available in e-reader formats as well as a printed book. Thank you Jessica.
We have made some changes to the church website to try and help those of you who have not found it easy to navigate your way to all our our online offerings during Lockdwon. We have added a section called the Church Online Hub, which you can find by clicking here. This brings together information about what we are doing online into one place, so do explore it and have a look around. Don’t forget that you can also go directly to the Facebook page and the YouTube channel via the symbols on the top right of the homepage.
Lent and Easter
Now that some of us are starting to get vaccinated against Covid 19 and we are beginning to hear more positive talk about an end to current restrictions, it is only natural that we start to think about future planning for both ourselves and for the church. On both of those levels we need to be cautious, as we really do not know how quickly restrictions might be lifted. We are, however, fairly certain that not much will change before Lent begins (Ash Wednesday is 17th February) and so we have begun to think about how best to use the weeks before Easter this year. Look out for more on this soon.
With love and prayers,
God of all mercy and compassion,
life and death are in your hands.
Hear our prayers in this time of illness and infection,
of isolation, fear, and uncertainty:
for the sick, and those weighed down by pain, distress,
loneliness, and anxiety;
for all who care for them, conscious of the risks they bear;
and for those who have responsibility for public health and social order.
Hear the cry of the afflicted and let them be comforted,
so that all who suffer may come to know
that they are joined to the sufferings of Christ,
who gave his life for the salvation of the world;
and by your blessing on them and those who care for them,
may they be restored, according to your will,
to soundness of body and mind,
and offer you joyful thanks in your Church. Amen