Latest news and 'Thought for the day'
Thought for the Day by Phil Moon (Vicar)
5 The Lord spoke to me again:
6 ‘Because this people has rejected
the gently flowing waters of Shiloah
and rejoices over Rezin
and the son of Remaliah,
7 therefore the Lord is about to bring against them
the mighty floodwaters of the Euphrates –
the king of Assyria with all his pomp.
It will overflow all its channels,
run over all its banks
8 and sweep on into Judah, swirling over it,
passing through it and reaching up to the neck.
Its outspread wings will cover the breadth of your land,
Is Covid 19 the judgement of God? I would say, specifically no; generally, yes probably. By which I mean that you mustn’t say that a particular person with Covid19 has it because they’re under the judgement of God because they’re more evil than others. That would be crass, foolish nonsense.
But how about Covid19 being the judgement of God, or even the kind warning of a loving God. Why not? We know that the God of the Bible sometimes abandons people to the consequences of their sins, and in Isaiah 8 the parallels between a flooding river and Covid19 are unmistakable. A slow start as the floodwaters rise, then a trickle over the banks then the floodwaters reaching to all places, then widespread flooding.
So how should we respond? The important question is where you turn when in trouble. For the people in Isaiah’s day they turned (v6) to Rezin
and the son of Remaliah, who were the Kings of Aram and Ephraim, at the time enemies of Judah. Big mistake. They rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah (that’s the river that supplied Jerusalem with water) and turned elsewhere.
For us, the temptation is to turn to our wonderful NHS, and trust them. (Or the Government, or Tescos, or your GP.) They all have their place, but they are not God, nor a replacement for God. First, we turn to God. And or course, then we ask for help from, thank God for and pray every day for, the NHS.
The Prayer Meeting - Wednesday 1 April 2020 7.45pm
Please remember The Prayer Meeting this evening at 7.45pm on Zoom. You should have received an email with an invitation from Phil with details of how to join the meeting. If you did not, for whatever reason, or have other questions please contact the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will do our best to help you.
"Sing" - Book Review by Matt Jones (Associate Minister for Music)
Being Generous. Phil Moon (Vicar)
For some, this time of Corona is money-saving. We don’t go out, we can’t travel, we don’t go shopping (apart from food shopping), so our monthly outgoings are down at the moment.
But for many others, they now don’t have a job. Or the prospects of one any time soon. They have lost their regular income, and honestly don’t know how ends are going to meet. The government is helping, but it does take a while for things to get processed.
So a couple of thoughts about finances.
First, helping those in financial need. That could be a person or a company. If you have a cleaner but they’re not coming at the moment, could you pay them anyway? Who would normally cut your hair? Will they be struggling financially? Could you send them the cost of a haircut? (By the way I’m looking forward to seeing how we all look in 3 months’ time!) If a theatre or conference ticket has been booked, might you donate the cost of the ticket, rather than seeking a refund? I’m sure if we think about it, there will be plenty we can do to bless those who have been serving us.
Second, a word about BH finances. Most of us give through the bank, and thank you for those who are still doing that. If you need to reduce your giving for the moment, we quite understand. Clearly our income from lettings will be a long way down in 2020, so some may wish to increase their giving to help (but please note – this is not an urgent plea for cash!) A few of us give each Sunday through the boxes/giving envelopes. If this is your practice, you may wish to simply set that money/those envelopes aside and give a lump sum when we next meet, but please do what is sensible and pray before you make a decision. On the technicalities, many have moved over to the Parish Giving Scheme, and they are still available at the end of the phone/ email. If that just reminds you that you never quite got round to joining the Scheme, you can still join (using the form that’s stuffed into the back of your drawer somewhere… or we can post you a new one), but please note that new applications won’t be processed for the time being.
We all know we have an incredibly generous God. And certainly in the last few years, BH has been an incredibly generous people. Let’s see how we can carry on being incredibly generous, during this time of COVID 19.
Mental Health Awareness 2020
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We will use this space to keep you up to date with what the church is doing during this time.