Latest news and 'Thought for the day'
Thought for the day by Alex Forrest (Voluntary Staff Worker)
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone--
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?
12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
and their upraised arm is broken.
16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.
You might be getting to the point now where you’re just sick of all this. The endless Skype and Zoom meetings have lost their novelty, you had to wait in the Waitrose queue for an hour and a half, or maybe you’re just beginning to feel very, very alone. Maybe you’re angry with God for allowing this to happen, maybe you’re confused about why the world is like this, maybe you’re even doubting a loving God is even out there.
The story of Job can be a challenging read! It was written as an answer to the question of “where is God in the suffering?”. When we cry out to God, asking “what is going on Lord!?”, “where are you God!?”, “how can you be in control when the world is a mess!?”, the book of Job has the answer.
The answer is that it’s okay to be confused when life is hard, it’s okay to ask God what is going on, it’s okay to cry out in despair. But when we stray into believing that God doesn’t love us, or that he isn’t in control, or that he isn’t even there, we say that God isn’t really who he claims to be in the Bible. When we do that, God is well within his rights to remind us of his power. To remind us that he was there before the beginning of everything and will be there at the end. He laid the Earth’s foundation (v.4), he burst forth the sea (v.8), he gave orders to the morning to appear at the right place and time (v.12), he can comprehend the vast expanses of the Earth (v.18).
That is God reminding us who he really is. When we think he’s not in control and that he doesn’t care for us, remind yourself that he made the sun rise this morning so that we can see the world around us, he provided water to flow from the sea to our taps so we can drink, he laid the very foundations of the Earth that we walk along for our daily exercise.
When you cry up to God this week, remind yourself that God is so much bigger than Covid-19, and that he loves his people so much that he blesses them every single day with things they take for granted. Remind yourself that God really is who he claims to be.
How are you getting ready for Easter?
A few weeks ago we began plugging 'The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross' Easter resources for families. Some of you will have opened the first door of the Easter calendar from that series yesterday. To help families with children to prepare for Easter, I'll be using these resources in a very short video each day leading up to Easter. There will be some Bible verses and a question to get you thinking about the Story of what God has done to save us. You don't need to have the books to join in but if you would like to get them they are available from Books Alive who are delivering locally and from the Good Book Company here.
You can find the first video here.
Catharine Currell (Families Minister)
Charis and Emily- Update on Tanzania trip
We just wanted to update you as to our situation with our trip to Tanzania. Firstly, thank you so much for your generosity in supporting us throughout our preparations, we couldn't have got this far without you!
Due to the coronavirus, we heard two weeks ago that if we were to be allowed access into Tanzania we would have to start quarantine here in the UK and then when we’re out in Tanzania. Shortly afterwards, Kenya and Tanzania both closed their borders, meaning it was impossible for us to go out to Tanzania. We are both of course devastated and it has been some hard news to get used to. We are hoping that borders may reopen and we will get to go out at a later stage this year but the uncertainty of the future means that we won’t know for sure. If not there is also the option of going out in summer 2021 or 2022. We are looking into all possible options and will keep you updated.
We are sending our love and prayers to all our wonderful church family in this difficult period. Please stay safe and well- we have faith that by standing together and continuing to fix our eyes on Jesus, we will all get through this.
Charis and Emily xxx
Mental Health Awareness 2021
Please follow the link below to our Resources page for more information.
We have now restarted in church services with 8.00am, 10.00am and 6.30pm services. Numbers for the 10am & 6.30am services will still be limited and must be booked in advance via MyChurchSuite or the website. These services will still be livestreamed on YouTube which can be accessed direct via the website or via MyChurchSuite.