URC News

Dear Friends Many of you will already have seen the letter in the email below that I am forwarding to you from John Proctor but I felt it important for all steering group members to see it as well. We are obviously in uncharted territory and things have happened so fast that it is difficult to know how to respond. There are some really good ideas in John’s letter and one of the things I wanted to encourage churches to think about is the possibility of some, not all, of our churches being available as places of prayer at certain times of the day and ensuring that no one is put at risk. This is something started by the churches in Rome and I know is being encouraged by the Church of England and Methodists as well as the URC. What I’m not asking is for anyone to put themselves in a position of risk and I fully appreciate that many of our congregations are only made up of people in the more vulnerable age group. However where we do have some more able and less-at-risk members then I just invite you to consider. If I can help in facilitating that so it doesn’t become a burden then please do ask. This Sunday most if not all of our churches will be closed for corporate worship. The Presidents of Churches Together in England are inviting Christians all over the country to light a candle at 7pm on Sunday evening to ‘Light up the world’ in prayer. I have cut and pasted the letter below for you to read. “This Mothering Sunday, 22nd March, we are calling all churches to a National Day of Prayer and Action. At such a time as this, when so many are fearful and there is great uncertainty, we are reminded of our dependence on our loving Heavenly Father and the future that he holds. At 7pm this Sunday, light a candle in the windows of your homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer. Whether you are continuing to worship as congregations or not, we have the great privilege and freedom to be able to call upon God, wherever we are, individually and corporately, for healing in our nation. We would pray for all in leadership at this time, making decisions about the containment of the COVID-19 virus, for those working in health and social care, and especially for the most vulnerable, whether elderly or those with underlying health conditions. We note that this call to prayer and action comes on Mothering Sunday: a time of thankfulness, remembering especially mothers who have served us, often in very costly ways. It is also a very mixed day for many. For some the remembrance is painful, and for others Mothering Sunday is a reminder of disappointment or loss. In many ways, this period under the shadow of the coronavirus will be prompting similarly diverse reactions and so it seems especially appropriate that the call to prayer is made this Sunday. At this time of uncertainty join in with the National Day of Prayer and Action, lighting a candle of hope. “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7″ I will keep in touch with you all – please share any good news stories with one another or prayer requests for that matter. Don’t forget to read the letter below. Please observe the government advice and stay safe. Again if I can help in any way please don’t hesitate to contact me. May the Lord bless you and keep you,  the Lord make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you his peace. Darren