Saturday 28 Mar 2020
I write each entry the day before it is due so in the morning when I am half asleep I don’t have to think of what to write. However, yesterday I had writer’s block so I decided to look at my prayer cards for inspiration. I have a set of these cards that I can send people to let them know I am thinking of them. I came across this one and decided to share it with you all.
We may not be able to go to church or to our normal meetings but the one thing we can all do is pray. It does not have to be eloquent or even make sense, God hears everything we say.
At Trinity, we often end services by saying the Grace. This unites us together as the body of Christ. I invite you, if you would like, to say the Grace now and as you do think of your fellow members of the body of Christ.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen.
Stay safe, strong and secure in the love of God,
Friday 27 Mar 2020
One thing that I have noticed more and more in recent weeks is the kindness of strangers. I am involved with checking the emails for the Knebworth Co-vid Response team. People email asking for help such as someone to pick up a perscription or get much needed items of shopping and they are then put in touch with a volunteer in their area. The amount of volunteers we have had is staggering and outweighs the number of people that need help at the moment and it is heartening to know that people are so willing to step forward and help their fellow villagers.
As someone with a disability I find that although some people out and about are helpful, there are many that are not. I hope that this crisis will perhaps change that somewhat and enable people to be more aware of those around them who are struggling and find life difficult.
I make no excuse for including my favourite hymn lyrics here as I think the words are very adapt for us all at the moment:
Brother, sister let me serve you.
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant too.
We are pilgrims on a journey,
And companions on the road;
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load.
I will hold the Christlight for you
In the nighttime of your fear;
I will hold my hand out to you,
Speak the peace you long to hear.
I will weep when you are weeping;
When you laugh I'll laugh with you;
I will share your joy and sorrow
till we've seen this journey through.
When we sing to God in heaven
We shall find such harmony,
Born of all we've known together
Of Christ's love and agony.
Brother, sister let me serve you.
Let me be as Christ to you;
Pray that I may have the grace to
Let you be my servant too.
All of us, whatever our circumstances, can reach out to others at the moment. Whether it be getting someone some shopping or a phone call to say hello – these things matter so much at the moment.
Stay safe, strong and secure in God’s love
Thursday 26 Mar 2020
I don’t know if any of you when out for your daily exercise have seen rainbow pictures in the windows. This is an idea that started elsewhere in the world but has now been featured on children’s television here. The rainbows give children an opportunity to be creative whilst not at school and once in the window cheer up passers-by. Parents have asked their children to spot the rainbows while out on walks, sparking the Twitter hashtag #ChaseTheRainbow.
Rainbows are used as a symbol of peace and hope as they often appear when the sun follows a heavy rainfall. They serve to remind us that there is hope and light to follow even after dark times and this is something that we can cling onto at the moment.
One of the members at Trinity often gets lovely rainbows in her garden and photographs them. Here is one of those photos:
I will end with a promise of hope rewritten from Jeremiah 29 verses 11 to 13:
I alone know the plans
I have for you,
plans to bring you prosperity,
and not disaster,
plans to bring about,
the future you hope for.
Then you will call to me.
You will come and pray to me,
and I will answer you.
You will seek me,
and you will find me
because you will seek me
with all your heart.
Stay safe, strong and secure in God’s love
Wednesday 25 Mar 2020
No doubt you have all heard of the saying: “patience is a virtue” which according to my good friend Goggle means “that it is a good quality to be able to tolerate something that takes a long time.” I am definitely not a patient person and have a tendency to want to get things done and sorted but I am very aware that the situation that we are all in at the moment is not going to get better overnight and will take time to resolve. We all need to find a way, any way we can of developing patience to enable us to get through this day by day.
I am sure those of you with children and Grand-children can relate to this quote:
I will finish with a prayer by Helen Steiner Rice:
God, each me to be patient,
Teach me to go slow
Teach me how to wait on you
When my way I do not know …
Teach me sweet forbearance
When things do not go right
So I remain unruffled
When others grow uptight …
Teach me how to quiet
My racing, rising heart
So I may hear the answer
You are trying to impart …
Teach me to let go, dear God
And pray undisturbed until
My heart is filled with inner peace
And I learn to know your will
Stay strong, safe and secure in God’s love
Tuesday 24 Mar 2020
I think the quote below is very adapt.
When I was in hospital during January, a highlight of my week was being able to join in with a service online on a Sunday. That sense of connection really helped me through difficult times and I think the same will happen over the next few months. On Sunday, there were a range of services that I could have gone to - traditional or contemporary, local or far away, via the internet or on the television. These services will enable us all to go to church on Sunday without leaving the safety of our own homes.
On the Methodist Circuit website you will find a list of services happening locally:
If you would like to attend a virtual service in Lanzarote, Polly has sent this link:
Church is not just about attending a service but it is also about being there for each other and helping each other. This is happening in many ways and is an area that Trinity church will be working on in the weeks to come.
Our resident quiz master Colin has produced a quiz. Why not have a go and see how many you can answer: http://www.parascosa.com/VirusInspireUs.htm
And I end with a prayer for community by Barbara Glasson, President of Methodist Conference:
We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs
For as long as it takes
wherever you call us.
Take care everyone,
Monday 23 Mar 2020
I am not really a green fingered type of person but I must admit I am spending more time in my garden at the moment and spring has definitely sprung. Thanks to the previous occupier, parts of my garden are carpets of grape hyacinths.
Sandra Robey has kindly forwarded me this poem and accompanying photo: see if you can spot the bee!
Nobody said the sun should not rise
Or the birds must not to sing
Conveyed to the bees
A delay in the spring
Nobody chimed in the ear of the corn
There was no need to sprout
Or told the bright crocus
'No need to come out'
Nobody mentioned to frogs in the pond
Don't bother to spawn
Or told the bird choirs
Be silent at dawn
So, why be downhearted
Although hymns we can't sing
We may be in trouble
But no one told Spring
And a prayer for spring by Rev Mark Bekkedal which I thought was appropriate.
Spring is a metaphor for change. Some changes we eagerly await, and some we abhor. Some changes we plan and others arrive uninvited. To all these changes we ask the gift of Your perspective beckoning us to expectation, hope, and rebirth.
May the sunlight and the rain be reminders that You are at work renewing the earth. As a God of renewal, You are ever at work in our lives, too.
Open our eyes and lives to the needed changes in our lives this Spring. Awaken us to new life and perspective, for we pray in Jesus' name.
Sunday 22 Mar 2020
You probably don’t need any reminder that today is Mothering Sunday. For some people this day can often bring up feelings of loss and disappointment but this year I think the disappointment will be much wider spread due to the restrictions we are all facing.
I will certainly miss being in Trinity today. As many of you know I don’t have children myself but always feel an immense sense of love and pride as the members of Sunday Club distribute flowers to all the ladies.
Even though we cannot be together in church, there are other ways in which we can worship and share the love of God today. On BBC One at 11.45 am, the Very Rev Dr Sarah Rowland Jones leads a service for Mothering Sunday from St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire, with hymns sung by a Songs of Praise congregation recorded in July 2019.
The Presidents of Churches Together in England have issued a call to prayer in the light of the Coronavirus and are asking that today at 7pm we light a candle in the windows of our homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.
The Methodist Church has also published some short acts of worship that you can use at home. These can be found here:
The United Reformed Church also has resources which can be found on their Facebook page or on their website: https://urc.org.uk/
However, you spend today whether it is on your own or with family, I hope that you all experience the love of God and know that as 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 7 says we can cast all our anxieties on Him, because He cares for each one of us.
And I end with a prayer by Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference:
If we are ill, strengthen us.
If we are tired, fortify our spirits.
If we are anxious, help us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.
Help us not to stockpile treasures from supermarkets in the barns of our larders.
Don’t let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than ourselves.
Fix our eyes on your story and your grace.
Help us always to hold fast to the good, see the good in others and remember there is just one world, one hope, one everlasting love with baskets of bread for everyone.
In Jesus we make our prayer, the one who suffered, died and was raised to new life.
In whom we trust these days and all days.
Love, prayers and virtual hugs,
Saturday 21 Mar 2020
At the beginning of this year, I spent a month in the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. The care was excellent but I could see the struggles facing staff – a lack of basic equipment such as drip stands, nurses having to deal with blocked toilets and flooded showers and a constant juggling of beds. This was without the impact of covid-19.
I got to know some of the staff well and I keep wondering how they are all coping with this crisis. Not just them but all those who work for the NHS - doctors, nurses, cleaners, porters, laboratory staff, technicians, the list goes on and on. They are all on the frontline so while many of us have to stay at home, let us take a moment to think and pray for all those members of the NHS who have to face this crisis head on.
Here is a prayer which I found on the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Chaplaincy website:
Lord Jesus, who healed the sick and gave them new life,
be with doctors, nurses and hospital staff, as they act as agents of your healing touch.
In desperate times, keep them strong yet loving;
and when their work is done,
be with them in their weariness and in their tears.
Friday 20 Mar 2020
Due to my health problems I often have to miss activities and spend time indoors so at the moment, and I say at the moment as no idea how I will be twelve weeks done the line, I am coping well with not going out.
However I am really missing physical contact and by that I mean hugs. When I first joined Trinity Church, I wasn’t really a hugging type of person but things have changed and I have learnt a hug can say so much – hello, goodbye, well done, I’m sorry, I am here for you etc.
Although we can’t hug each other, there is nothing wrong with giving yourself a hug. (Just an aside - those of you who come to my dance will know how to do this as this is a move from the song Wonderful World.)
Also when talking to those who would give us a hug if we were together in person, why don’t we give ourselves a hug imagining that it is the person we are talking to giving us that hug. Sounds strange I know but try it!
I would like to share this prayer written by Jan Berry, a URC Minister, which was shared yesterday on the Trinity prayer list.
God our refuge,
we seek your protection.
Protect the vulnerable from illness:
those who are old and frail,
weakened by years and struggle;
those who care for others,
expending energy and love;
those for whom inability to work
means hardship and poverty.
from the greed and suspicion
which snatches at our own security
stock-piling and panic-buying
that deprives others of the necessities of life.
Protect us from the short-sightedness
which sees the germ in our own eyes
and ignores the plagues
of hunger, war and violence
that take so many lives each day.
Protect us from the isolation
that leads to loneliness and despair
denying the interconnectedness
that links us with one another.
God our refuge
in our panic and fear
may we not lose sight of our common humanity
that makes us one people in you.
Thursday 19 Mar 2020
My Lent reading yesterday focused on the line said by Jesus in Matthew chapter 5 verse 17 "do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets." Here Jesus is saying that we need to stick to the instructions of God's law even if we fully do not understand as it will help us to act in love even when we don't feel like it.
At the moment the Government are issuing guidelines or instructions on a daily basis - asking people to work from home, socially distance themselves if over 70 or in at risk groups, avoid pubs and clubs etc. Some of these instructions, using the words of Boris Johnson are 'draconian' and the idea of not doing my normal activities for 12 weeks fills me with dread. However, we need to trust in the experts advising our Government and do all we can to stick to the instructions given as it will make a difference not just to ourselves but our family, friends and wider community. What better way of showing God's love to those around us than doing all we can to keep Covid-19 at bay.
I would like to share a prayer written by of the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Rt. Rev Colin Sinclair::
In our hour of need we turn again to you, for we have nowhere else to turn.
We put our faith in you, because you have proved your faithfulness time and again.
We reaffirm our love for you because you have never let us go.
We thank you that you are not distant from us.
but have drawn near, in your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
He has shared our life, tasted our death and defeated it;
He understands our worries and our fears.
Help us to respond as your children now.
We pray for this pandemic spreading across our world,
remembering all who have lost loved ones.
and praying for those seriously ill at this time.
We uphold the National Health Service.
as it responds to this added pressure on its already overstretched services.
We pray for doctors and nurses and all in the caring professions,
who work to help and support people as best they can.
We remember those working behind the scenes.
testing samples, confirming results, giving information to patients.
We uphold others trying to understand this virus better.
working to create an effective remedy.
We pray for our Governments in Westminster and Holyrood,
as they work with the best medical advice.
to guide us on how we should respond.
and what action we should take.
We pray that these guidelines might be taken seriously.
and that all would put them into action.
May this crisis bring out the best in us, not the worst.
Help us to live by faith and not by fear;
to build bridges not barriers,
and to resist all who would speak ill of any other group.
May we not forget our responsibility to one another,
not least to the vulnerable and voiceless in our communities.
Help us to find ways of keeping in touch and offering reassurance.
to those with underlying health issues;
for any who feel particularly vulnerable.
or in danger at present.
As the virus spreads.
we pray for the disruption it causes to normal life,
bringing new fears and anxieties:
We pray for those who have been laid off as their work disappears;
for financial hardship for individuals and businesses;
for the impact on the economy and pensions, when austerity has already left its mark.
We pray for those whose trips, both for business and pleasure, have been cancelled;
and others where events, long anticipated and planned for, have been postponed;
for those making contingency planning for home based work or child care or exams.
May our inconvenience not blind us to others’ loss.
We remember those.
who cannot visit loved ones in locked-down care homes;
for the elderly whose social contacts have been severely curtailed;
help us to find creative ways of keeping in touch,
of assuring them they are not forgotten or ignored.
May congregations find new ways of living though this time.
May we not forget our faith, but draw strength from it.
So may our worship be heartfelt,
our fellowship deepen.
and our service increase.
God of grace and God of mercy,
hear our prayers at this time.
Strengthen us, by your Spirit, so that:
we may carry on our lives as best as we are able,
looking out for others,
showing love in action,
being faithful in prayer,
and bringing encouragement, hope and peace;
always trusting in you.
our Rock and our Redeemer.
These prayers we bring to you.
in Jesus’ name.
Take care of yourselves and those around you in whatever way you can,
Wednesday 18 Mar 2020
Welcome everyone to my blog. For those that don't know me, I am an Elder at Trinity Church as well as a Methodist Local Preacher.
I have wanted to set up something for a while but with the suspension of church services and having a lot more time on my hands due to social distancing, I have decided now is the time. I will be sharing quotes from social media such as the one below as well as prayers, bible passages and brief reflections. Please share the link to this page and website with anyone else who may be interested.
Take care of yourselves and those around you,