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www.silverendcongregationalchurch.org

KEEPING IN TOUCH
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.            (Philippians 1:3-6 NIV)

SEPTEMBER 2020

MISSING YOU ALL

As I write this newsletter, things are still far from being back to normal. Whatever ‘normal’ is? I think it is a different version for each one of us. As many of you who know me, I have a pretty relaxed way of looking at life, but I realise for many they are very fearful and rightly so. I believe we have all got to learn how to live with this virus, without taking unnecessary risks which might endanger ourselves or others, using common sense. We mustn’t become complacent about potential risk as the colder weather comes along, but at the same time get on with living and enjoying all that we can do.

CHURCH - As you know, churches are now able to open, subject to strict safety conditions being met. Our church remains closed at this present time. The Diaconate are meeting in early September to discuss the best and safest way forward for our folk.

COFFEE MORNINGS Many people have asked me when will the Coffee Morning start again? Unfortunately with the current Government rules we are unable to re-start. We are not able to mix with lots of people from different homes indoors. Only 6 people from different families can meet up outside. It is all very complicated. Plus there are rules about sharing cups/saucers/plates. Etc… Also toilets….The rules just go on and on and sometimes feels like rules! for rules sake. I know that many of you will be really disappointed. I feel very sad about our church doors being closed at such a time as this when people might need to meet up with others in a safe place.

We continue to thank Malcolm for all he is doing making the CD’s enabling all to participate in this different way of Worship. Also Pauline for continuing to phone people regularly.

St. Francis. Church Services will resume from 6th September, at 9.30. The first service will be HC with Rev. Paul, following on for the remainder of September with a Morning Prayer Service being led by Ruth or on occasion Rev. Val Drury. Rev. Paul will continue with his on-line service every Sunday as well as other duties.

DURING THESE EXTRAORDINARY TIMES

On July 17th I had the privilege to share some memories of Beryl at her funeral service. We were blessed with a beautiful day and many gathered at the crematorium for her service. Numbers were very limited and so a number had to stay outside. It was a lovely service put together by Karl. I shared some stories of the adventures we had in the choir over the years and reminded folk that Beryl used to sing solo’s and one she sang regularly was ‘If I can help somebody’ I said I thought the words to that song fitted Beryl totally as she was always so kind and thoughtful. Always caring about others and making sure they were ok. Beryl loved to sing and she found that singing is healing and uplifting. Beryl had some difficult times in her life, but she always managed to come back to choir as soon as she could. She had a simple faith and would remark quite profoundly about the words to hymns or readings. Beryl was a village girl and connected to the church from a very young age. Her mum and dad Mr. & Mrs Davies were church members. I will miss Beryl very much but I have some great memories and Karl has given Jane and I some little mementoes to remind us of his Mum and Dad.

August has flown by so quickly. We have enjoyed some beautiful weather, perhaps too hot for some! We and most of my family have been very blessed having our own caravans to enjoy holidays in glorious North Devon.  We go to the same spot every year. It is very special to us and holds very many  memories for the whole family. We are very mindful how fortunate we are especially during such a time as this. Devon was much busier than usual, but where we go it was not a problem to socially distance from others. Allan was rather disappointed how few insects, butterflies, dragonflies were around. He catalogues these from one year to another and they seemed quite behind us here in Essex. Sitting in the field we camp in I was very aware of my God given senses, being surrounded by God’s creation, the peace just washes over you. You can feel the soft Devon breeze, smell the wildflowers and grasses, in particular the Evening Primrose, hear the Atlantic surf in the distance and birds/geese/swans as they pass over you. See the beauty of nature right in front of you, the swallows diving for insects, the wonder of the cloud formations and the millions of stars by night. You could almost taste the salt in the air. The Cornish pasties were good too‼ This reminded me of a verse in Psalm 34:8 ‘Taste and See that the Lord is good.’ This Psalm is very encouraging and good to read through.  Why not take a look‼

Father David Prior who has been the Roman Catholic Priest in Witham is retiring at the end of August. He has been serving the Witham Parish for 22 years, also sharing with us at our ecumenical services on Good Friday. We have valued his friendship and wish him good health and happiness in retirement. I did send him our good wishes on a card from the Fellowship.

OUR PRAYERS

Pray for the Government, especially Boris Johnson and the cabinet as they try to work their way through this crisis.

Pray for all church leaders, that they might be given opportunities to share their faith more openly. We give thanks that churches can Broadcast freely in many ways at this time.

Pray for all schools preparing to receive children back into the classrooms, from September. Please take away the fear that many are feeling. We pray that all will be kept safe

Pray for all returning to work after being furloughed. Continue to remember all Key Workers and NHS and Care Home workers. Remember all those in hospital suffering from this virus and those who have lost their loved ones. Pray also for all patients whose treatment has been on hold during this serious time. May they find comfort and support as they patiently wait.

Pray too for Scientists who are working tirelessly to finds ways to help and hopefully stop this virus from spreading.

Pray for families and those struggling to home school their children.

Pray for those who have been made redundant from their jobs. It is very worrying for families with mortgages and debts and wondering just what they are going to do.

Lord of the Church, please send Christians into our village to share the gospel; that many men women and children might know You as Saviour and Lord.

Lord we pray for Father David Prior as he begins his retirement. Continue to remember all who are grieving and those suffering terminal illness. May the Lord keep you, bless and comfort you.

Lord in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer

THANKS & NEWS

Giving/Offerings I have had a few people ask me about how they can give their offerings to the church. Some use the envelope system others just cash. I am very happy to come and collect any money/cheques that you may wish to give to help keep the church going. Of course we have not had much income since March, but bills still have to be paid. If you would like to give please ring me on 583913. Thank you. I can also pick up any money you may have put aside for little Elsie too.

Thanks everyone for continuing to keep in touch with one another, with phone calls, cards, letters. You are doing a great job. The Church building may be closed…but the Church is still active and alive!

The church buildings continue to be checked for insurance purposes. It is surprising when a building is not used how quickly things begin to look a bit different. The Gas problem turned out to be a much bigger job than first expected. It caused chaos in the road outside and they had to dig a trench to replace the gas pipe they had only fitted last year. The contractors left the garden in a terrible mess until we got back onto them and they came out and finished the job properly, they did apologise! The grass seed they planted has started to grow nicely with the rain we have had. The maintenance of the building and grounds continue despite the fact it is not being used.

Carol and the Guiding Group have made use of the church garden for a few outside meetings during August with some of their young people. Sally the Brownie leader earlier in the summer got the girls to design posters for the ducks that were crossing along Francis Way. The girls and their parents, put them around to warn the motorists to slow down. It has been a very long and hard time for our young people.

Ann Clarke from Rivenhall continues to produce ‘View from the Inside’ every week. It is very good and varied, putting me to shame. Maybe this is the way forward and I will start doing something similar. A few weeks ago she had some good one liner jokes.

If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you!

Always remember you are unique, just like everyone else.

Before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.

Please keep all our fellowship in your prayers. Thank you