|Published on Wed, 18 Mar 2020 04:04|
Dear St Simon’s,
What a great start to the email I received from the College of Bishops (of the Church of England) this afternoon, as it quoted 2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” The message is that as believers in the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, we should be hopeful, not fearful, of the future, despite the very real worries that we have at this extraordinary time, globally, nationally and personally.
Yet, we must be on the lookout for ourselves, physically. Do follow the official guidelines for caution in regard to the Coronavirus. If you are in any doubt, take a look at this link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ If you are self-isolating, or considering it, whilst we cannot give you any advice on this, we can certainly support you in other ways, especially prayer. Please contact us at this email address.
Please also be on the lookout for each other, family and near neighbours, particularly the elderly and isolated. This is what the Jesus-centred family is all about. To this end, we are looking at implementing a scheme which pairs people up in the church by regular telephone contact, so that no one is without someone to with whom to be in touch.
As you may have guessed, we will not be meeting physically on Sundays for some weeks – with immediate effect and until further notice. In fact all of St Simon’s activities have now ceased at the church apart from Foodbank and Nightshelter which will be operating under certain restrictions. Please get in touch if you are on one of those teams and want to know more. We will always be in email reach, although as of next week, we (Samantha, Nina and myself) will all be basing our work at home, not at church.
To be clear, there will be no PEG meeting tomorrow evening.
Despite some of the above reading as extremely bad news, we are making decisions this week about how we can continue to worship as a community. This will largely involve an online presence. Watch this space for further details to come through in the next few days. It is likely that this plan will make use of St Simon’s facebook page, upon which there is already a simple update about the present situation: facebook.com/stsimonslondon/. Also under discussion is how we can take forward God’s essential ministry to the youth and children’s groups that he graciously does through us. Home groups and other smaller groups should explore ways of meeting online where possible. I understand that Zoom is a popular and successful resource for this, which is relatively easy to use.
Lastly here is a link to the statement by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York which was in the national press this morning.
Watch out for the significant mention of a National Day of Prayer being called for this Sunday 22nd March. Again, we will be sending out more information about that later in the week.
With warmest thoughts and prayers,