Church at Home
God is our place of safety. He gives us strength.
God is always there to help us in times of trouble.
As you will know by now, Sunday church is no longer possible for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, we are still church - God’s people in Stapleford Abbotts - and so we going to have to find new ways to be ‘church’ even though we can’t meet in our church building.
As from the 29th March we are doing Sunday services from the vicarage via Zoom video conferencing, to find out more details about this please contact me via this web site.
Although our church remains closed prayer requests can be put through the website or the Vicarage phone number. The Welfare Trust, Parish Council and St. Mary’s are working together to keep us all in touch and suggest ways in which you might be church at home, particularly at our normal times of worship on Sundays. This pastoral letter contains some ideas for doing this and we plan to send one regularly, along with updates of how we can go on supporting each other and offering help to our friends and neighbours in the village.
Here are a few ideas for church at home:
1. Find a special place in your home where you can create a regular place for prayer. You may already have this. Why not place a Bible there, a candle and perhaps a cross or other Christian symbol, to help you remember that God is with you.
2. At your normal Sunday worship time, set aside some moments to sit by your special ‘church-at-home’ corner, remembering that, although you may be separated from others, we are all doing this at the same time and are linked by the Holy Spirit of God who is not isolated nor quarantined!
3. For this coming Sunday, read slowly and out loud the words of Psalm 46. Most of the Bible was written during periods of history when God’s people faced daily pressures and uncertain futures. This psalm of trust in God comes in such a troubled time.
The repeated refrain in this psalm is:
‘The Lord of hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is a stronghold’
Take this as God’s promise to you at this time
4. In your prayers bring before God the following groups of people:
- The medical staff dealing with this present emergency
- Government officials working on the best advice to give to this country
- Developing countries where who are less equipped to deal with the spread of the virus
- Your friends and neighbours
- Your own family and your church family - remember each one by name.
- End with the Lord’s Prayer
5. One way in which we remember that we belong to Jesus and to each other is by sharing bread and wine. You might like to break a small piece of bread to eat either on your own or with those who are with you in the house and to drink some wine or grape juice. As you do so, simply say ‘we remember you Lord Jesus and we remember that you told us to love one another’
6. Here is a prayer that you might like to use during the week:
You have promised always to hear our prayers
And never to leave us.
Come close to us and our friends at this time of isolation and worry.
Remind us of your never failing love
And inspire us with ways to help our neighbours.
In Jesus’ name
7. You might like to end by singing a favourite hymn or chorus.
Extra: Nationally the churches are suggesting that we put a candle (safely) in our windows this Sunday at 7 pm. It is a sign of our unity as many ‘churches at home’, and that we are praying for our country at this time.
Finally, if you do know of anyone who is in need of a phone call, shopping or any other form of help, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with us:
Roger Gayler - 01992 815 838 - email or use this contact link.
God has called us to be his church in the community ‘for such a time as this’.
With our prayers
All the church at Stapleford Abbotts