Greetings to you in this first pastoral letter of 2021. I do hope that despite the restraints and limitations of Covid you managed to have a good Christmas.
In many of the greetings and messages I have received over the Christmas period people have commented that 2020 was a terrible year and expressed the hope that 2021 will be better. I understand the sentiment, with all the pain and disruption of Covid-19, but I do hope that – as with me – we can look back at 2020 and see some good things and some blessings from God that we can be thankful for. Surely even in dark times we can see the hand of God at work in our lives and our world. With that thought in mind, and looking forward to the year that lies ahead, I though I would quote from a famous poem written in 1908 by a poet called Minnie Louise Haskins. The poem is called ‘God Knows’ though it is often wrongly called The Gate of the Year. It is often quoted at New Year for good reason as it includes these lines:
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
I pray that, as the poem says, you will know God’s presence and guidance in the coming months.
Below is next week’s programme, and please note that Sunday’s service includes Holy Communion and you might like to have bread and wine or some alternative if you wish to participate.
Every blessing and keep safe and well.
Sunday, 10.30 hrs, live- streamed service
You can access the live-stream at 10.30 via this link: https://youtu.be/jSZvv6ywSrs
Service of Holy Communion. Please have some wine or juice to drink and some bread or a biscuit of you wish to share in this.
Our reading fir this second Sunday after Christmas is the prologue to John’s Gospel: John 1:1-14.
Sunday, 21.00 hrs
Short evening prayers, Compline
Tuesday, 08.45 hrs:
Psalm Reciting (this week Psalms 38-46). We will not meet at the church for this, but you might like to participate from your from our home at 8.45 or some other time.
Wednesday, 19.30 hrs:
Zoom Bible Study, beginning a new series on the Book of Genesis.
In this time there may be people who feel especially in need of prayer either for themselves or for someone else. There is a small group of people in the congregation who take it in turns on Sundays to be available after the service to pray for anyone in need – so, if you would like prayer or have a a particular prayer request please contact Margaret Richards on email@example.com and she and the others will pray accordingly.
A word about finance….
Please note that in this period when we are not meeting together there is a way of giving to the church on the website.
Please remember also that it is our practice to have a collection for the Mulanje Mission Hospital on the 1st Sunday of the month. See our website if you wish to make a contribution.
God bless you all and keep us united as a church family – and safe and well.