Over the past few days it has been really good to be able to worship with a number of you in our churches, and over the coming weeks we are looking forward to gradually getting round the Benefice as we journey on.
There have been things to learn, which you only discover by trial and error. On the more amusing – it is not possible to blow out a candle with your mask on. Although that probably goes to show how effective a mask is. Handling communion wafers with gloves on is also a new skill set for our times…
Such is the depth and longevity of our tradition of hymn singing it does feel very strange not to be singing in our services. We are all having to get used to that, along with other significant changes, and it will take a little while for us to explore together how we best direct our services in these new times.
There is something quite powerful though about just being able to embrace those differences together and explore what we can do, rather than focus on what we can’t.
I would like to say a big thankyou to everyone who has come to church over the past few days for these first services. The spirit, sensitivity, and open mindedness that has been shown has been hugely appreciated.
We will continue to learn and adapt, and of course continue to balance the resources we have with online provision.
On Sunday we were thinking about Jacob’s struggle with the angel and also the feeding of the 5000. You can hear the sermon by going to https://twoshires.wordpress.com/sunday-service.
We will try and get a sermon online every Sunday as well as providing a full online service every other week.
The serenity prayer from Reinhold Niebuhr:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
OUR COMMUNITY WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Thursday Evening Zoom – 7:30pm – 6th August – The Transfiguration
Join us on the link below for the regular Thursday evening worship. This week we will be celebrating the Transfiguration; a major festival in the Christian year.
Join Zoom Service at 7:30pm:
Meeting ID: 717 4519 2963
Sunday 9th August – 9th after Trinity
A recorded online service will be available at https://twoshires.wordpress.com/sunday-service from Sunday morning.
It will also be available on YouTube.
Worship Sunday 9th August:
Holy Communion – 10am St Michael’s & All Angels, Chaffcombe
4pm St Mary’s, Thorncombe
Midweek Holy Communion:
Thursday 9th August at 11am; St Michael’s & All Angels, Chaffcombe
The 5th Sunday Benefice service (30th August) will be in the churchyard of St Mary Magdalene’s, Cricket Malherbie at 10am. Further details in due course!
All churches will continue to be open during the week for private individual prayer. To maintain safe quarantine times around Sunday services, to keep our buildings as safe as possible, prayer times will now be on Wednesdays or Thursdays as following (please note changes from previous communication):
Wednesdays – Tatworth, Cricket Malherbie & Thorncombe at 11am
Thursdays – Chaffcombe & Winsham at 11am
SAFETY & PROTECTION:
Please continue to look out for each other and yourselves. If attending at any of our churches for any reason please follow all instructions given and particularly:
· Wearing a face mask unless specifically exempt.
· Maintaining 2m social distancing with people not in your own household or ‘bubble’.
· Seating as directed and not changing seats during your visit.
· If service books are available, that you are the only one who uses it, and that you return it as directed at the end of the service.
· Signing in on the NHS track and trace register as you arrive.
· Using hand sanitizer as you arrive and leave.
· Following the instructions of the stewards at all times, especially arrangements about entering and leaving the building.
Please continue to send in submissions for the community scrapbooks. Please do engage with that – it is for everyone – not just children! Further information on the link below:
FOR YOUR PRAYERS:
I invite you to hold the following in your prayers this week. As always, please do let me know of any additions or changes needed:
· The people of Beirut following the port explosion yesterday
· All those tasked with decision making and responding to the Covid 19 pandemic, particularly as restrictions are revised.
· All those struggling with faith.
· We pray for those we know who are sick, and those we don’t know, including those we are asked to pray by name for:
Bishop Peter Hancock; Hannah Knott; Rob Allen; Lynne Applegarth; Phyllis Baker; Margaret Bandy; Sue Bennett; Sue Cheese; Terry Conway; Nick Frankau; Paul Glazier; David Goodwill; Mike Heywood; Joy Howard; Ann Jarvis; Val Joslin; Mark Lindsey; Frank Long; Peter McHugh; Diana Rowlands; Ann Ricketts; Jim Tucker; Rosemary Walley; Rosemary Walton; Vivien Wheaton; Alan Wills, Anna Woodward; Pamala Young; Milly granddaughter of Jane & Alan Rudkin; Gillian Muggeridge; Chris Gould
· For the Bereaved – The family & friends of: Peter Fulljames, Hannah, Carl Earle, Sue Easter, Joan Linstead
SCRIPTURE FOR THIS WEEK:
Wednesday 5th August: Jer 31:1-7; Matt 15:21-28
Thursday 6th August: Dan 7:9-10,13-14; Luke 9:28-36 (Transfiguration)
Friday 7th August: Deut 32:35-36,39,41; Matt 16:24-28
Saturday 8th August: Hab 1:12-2:4; Matt 17:14-20
Sunday 9th August: Gen 37:1-4,12-28; Matt 14:22-33
Monday 10th August: Ezek 1:2-5,24-end; Matt 17:22-end
Tuesday 11th August: Ezek 2:8-3:4; Matt 18:1-5,10,12-14
A PRAYER FOR THE WEEK:
Lord God, whose we are and whom we serve,
help us to glorify you this day,
in all the thoughts of our hearts,
in all the words of our lips,
and in all the works of our hands,
as becomes those who are your servants,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Blessings to you all,