He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
(Psalm 91 v 4)
Jerusalem, Jerusalem ... how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings... (Matthew 23 v 37)
A year ago we began a new season of openness to God and to others with social activities in and around the village. We've had groups as big as 15 on our 'Walk, Talk & Coffee' mornings, and people of all ages at Table Tennis club in the chapel on Sunday afternoons. Our Autumn quiz night saw the church packed with enthusiastic participants. We have been delighted to welcome the wider Bovingdon community to these events and to Sunday services and midweek groups such as Coffee Morning and Youth Group. However, what 'walking together' on a well-being journey will look like for us over the next weeks and months is almost impossible to imagine in the light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Churches, like other organisations, are having to cease all meetings to protect the health of the vulnerable - and all plans for the summer and autumn are provisional as we follow guidelines from the government, NHS and Baptists Together.
All of us are living with a certain amount of uncertainty and anxiety for ourselves and for our loved ones. However, there is one thing we can rely on utterly - God's faithfulness and compassion towards us, like a brooding mother hen protecting her chicks. God is not distant, even in the hardest of times. Nothing can separate us from God's love.
'CHURCH AT HOME'
- We are using Zoom video conferencing to meet together on Sunday mornings at 10.30 am for 40 minutes of fellowship and prayer. If your email address is on our contact list you will receive an emailed invitation to join the meeting - this includes a link that should take you to the 'waiting room' for the meeting. If you are using your smart phone and need to type in the address you may also need to type in the password that is contained in the emailed invitation. Once you're in, enable your video and audio to participate fully.
- Youth Group are also using Zoom. They are meeting on Fridays at 5 pm and for the Upper Room on Sundays at 10.30 am (assuming that our home Wi-Fi can cope...). Invitations will be sent out via the group WhatsApp.
- Church Newsletter - please keep sending your thoughts / insights / prayers / pictures so that I can put them together into a newsletter every couple of weeks. If you would like us to pray about a specific situation please let me know...
- Prayer - If you like to have a rhythm and a bit of structure to your day, why not light a candle and join others from our BBC family in prayer at 7 pm each night? On Wednesdays and Sundays at 7 pm you can join the worldwide Baptist family in prayer via Skype. Prayers were from South Africa this Wednesday - join Sunday's broadcast at baptist.org.uk.
- 'Walking Together Literally (Virtually)' You are welcome to follow my blog if you want to hear my (almost) daily musings and see pictures from my garden and (almost) daily walk.
- Please keep in touch with each other - and think about how to bring encouragement to people who are self-isolating in particular.
- Do email or phone me if you'd like to chat, or need some help.