Dear Brothers and Sisters
As I said before, we are living in challenging and uncertain times, where the situation is changing daily.
I find it interesting that the place I have gone most often at this time is to the Psalms. They seem so honest and the psalmist is not afraid to question what is happening and where is God in all this. I also love that they point us back to God, in whom we can trust.
For the private prayer reflection on Sunday we looked at Psalm 46 as it seems to relate to the big picture - the things beyond our control and is a timely reminder that God is not distant or remote but he is ‘an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear’
We also looked at Psalm 23, a comforting, personal Psalm where we are invited to know God as ‘Our Shepherd’, the one that 'Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’ (verse 4)
The word TRUST seems to be a recurring theme in the Psalms, perhaps because when the things we have put our security in have failed - we have no-where else to go but to trust in the living God. It is not a blind trust but based on past experience and time and time again the Psalms remind us of what God has done and therefore he is trustworthy.
I am not understating the current situation, but I encourage you to do as the psalmist says in Psalm 62:8 and ‘Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.’ Be honest with God, tell him your hopes and fears, your concerns, your anger and sadness - after all he knows how we are feeling anyway! What a relief that we can be honest. But then stop and listen and let Him speak to you, to reassure you of his love, his care and his presence.
I leave you with Psalm 121, a beautiful Psalm that reminds us that we are to keep our eyes on the Lord - he is the only one who can save us from our present troubles and if we know him as our Lord and Saviour we have nothing to fear in this world or the next.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains -
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of Heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip -
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you -
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harm -
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Revd Sue Finch
St Marys, Great Baddow Team Ministry
and How it Will Affect St Mary's Church
"In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice."*
In light of this sad and difficult decision to close all public acts of worship in order to protect the most vulnerable and to aid prevention of the Covid-19 virus, regular Church services at St Mary's Church have been SUSPENDED until further notice.
The church, however, is currently looking into ways to meet virtually during this period. We will keep you posted.
SUSPENDED, POSPONED OR CANCELLED
Also, all church related groups and meetings have been SUSPENDED until further notice, including the following activies and groups.
Centurion (by theatre company)
Little2Big Voices Concert (Saturday 28th March)
MAC pack (monthly)
MAC fundraising Lunch (Sunday 29th March)
St Mary’s Toddlers
If you are unsure of any other events, please contact the office by phone or e-mail
Please note, however, that Foodbank will currently remain OPEN on Tuesdays.
Also, please be advised that the Orchards Café (Meadgate Church) and soft play area remain OPEN as advised as it operates under the guidance of the local authority and is an inspected outfit.
PRAYER TIME IN ST MARY'S CHURCH
In order to encourage people to stay indoors, Bishop Stephen has now asked all churches in our diocese to sadly close our doors.
This means that St Mary’s will not be able to open for private prayer this coming week.
We are in daily discussion and will post regularly to keep you updated, as we work through how best to proceed during this incredibly difficult time. If you have any immediate prayer requests, please do contact us either via email to the church office or by private message through Facebook.
Please contact the Church Office, via email preferably, for further updated information.The Church Office is now closed until further notice. Thank you for your consideration.
We will aim to keep this page updated. Aslo, please refer to the church Facebook page (click the link on the home page).
For more information about the Archbishop of Canterbury and York's statement, please visit the CofE Website here
Now that the Church and Church Office have had to close due to the Coronavirus, it will not be possible to be a collection point for items for Foodbank. Given that demand for Foodbank services is rising, we would be grateful if you would continue to be generous in giving.
It will be possible to donate items on a Tuesday morning at Bell St between 9.30 and 10.30 or take them direct to the Food bank Warehouse, Vicarage Hall, 450A Beehive Lane, Chelmsford, CM2 8RN, open Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings 10am – 12.30pm. If you are unable to deliver the items, please let the Church Office know and we will have limited capacity to arrange collection.
Items most needed :
INSTANT MASHED POTATO
UHT FRUIT JUCE
TINNED RICE PUDDING
TEABAGS - 40s & 80s ONLY
INSTANT COFFEE - SMALL & MEDIUM
LARGE SIZE NAPPIES / PULL-UPS (5 & 6)
TOILETRIES FOR MEN - EXCEPT DEODORANTS