Church News – July/August 2020

From the Sanctuary

This ‘summer’, so far we have had strong winds, lightning and thunderstorms, as well as torrential rain – all of this coming on the back of some glorious weather around Easter which left me wondering if we might be in for a drought this summer, as moors began to catch fire with the dryness! We certainly needed the rain then… What would we do without water?

Then, being caught up in the aftermath of Covid-19, and sitting, watching the lightning, fearing it may strike the house, and fearing the trees in the strong winds might be blown down on the house, highlighted just how vulnerable I am as a human being. In spite of all our precautions (e.g. masks, social-distancing, lockdown), it just takes a cough or a sneeze, or a touch of a contaminated surface, to give us Covid – and then we are dependent on the state of our health and genetics to give us a good chance of fighting and surviving it.

Life is not risk-free – and sometimes it is seemingly a lottery. Some years ago, I did some voluntary work in the information centre of a hospital, and having read pretty much all of the leaflets of the various diseases out of boredom, I did wonder how any of us ever remained healthy! Yet we do survive for much of the time.

But fundamentally, we are fragile and vulnerable – we are in God’s hands. Then I step back from all the fear and vulnerability, and I regain the psalmist’s thoughts in Psalm 8: 3-4, “When I look at the sky, which you have made, at the moon and the stars, which you have set in their place – what are human beings, that you think of them; mere mortals, that you care for them?” We are in God’s hands.

So, may His hands hold us tenderly and lovingly. May He protect and guide us through this ‘stormy’ patch, so that we find His strength in our vulnerability. May we soon be together, back in our Church community, holding the risk responsibly, yet freeing us to be at One in community again. Until then, have a blessed summer.

I wish you every blessing, Peter Gubi

A Prayer for help in times of need

The Slide

As I watch she climbs the steps steadily,

Holding the handrail,

Her two-year old feet following each other rhythmically, unhesitatingly

To the platform at the top where she sits down and freezes.

Holding tight to the sides, knees up, feet flat

She judders down a little way then looks up.

Her eyes meet my smile, my outstretched arms –

And she takes her hands off the edge of the slide,

Shooting forward with a squeal of delight,

Trusting the love she knows.

Lord, I have climbed so steadily,

I have come so far, in my own strength,

Holding on, holding back,

Sometimes freezing.

But I am your child,

Today I will lift my eyes

And meet your smile, your outstretched arms,

I will lift my juddering feet –

And take my hands off the edge of the slide

Released to ride, by your Spirit,

Into the freedom of your will,

Trusting the Love I know.

By Daphne Kitching 

Our Lamb has conquered, Let us follow Him