Dear Church Family,
The announcement from the government earlier this week has certainly taken the wind out of a lot of sails. What came as unsurprising to some, has caught others unaware – we still need to limit our interactions when out and about; maintaining good hand hygiene, social distancing, and mask-wearing.
There has been a temptation to blame “young people’ for the resurgence in Covid-19 infections this week as if everyone under the age of 20 has been licking door handles and wrestling one another at every given opportunity. As it happens, the data suggests it is the adults with disposable income who have been enjoying themselves irresponsibly. The least affected group at the moment is actually the 11-14-year olds.
You may have spotted that this youth worker is very keen not to demonise our children in this mess we are dealing with - cultures throughout human history have often blamed the youth of the day for society's problems. From the Ancient Greeks to the parents of those growing up in the 1950s and 60’s – “the youth of today” have always been easy targets. They are watching us, how we behave, and how we live during these times of upheaval so we must take that responsibility seriously. As the parent of a teenager, I know that how younger generations live can certainly bring challenge to our own preferences and mindsets (Tik-Tok anyone?!), but we need to be caring for, and attentive to, our young people in these difficult days.
Last week I preached on Matthew 18, focussing on dealing with sin and subsequent fallouts in our community and how we need to be radically forgiving of one another. Jesus urges us to work through our problems together and not to regard anyone as ever fully lost. He also reassures us that He is with us when just 2 or 3 of us gather together in his name – even if we don’t get along with one another! This week’s sermon will continue that teaching as we learn that the penalty for holding on to unforgiveness is worse for us than it is for those we resent.
So, let’s keep short accounts with one another as we begin a new period of restricted living. If the church can live in a way that doesn’t seek to victimise or exclude any group or minority, then our witness to the love of Christ will be stronger for it. Let’s lead by example: pray for the old and young, the sick and dying, the poor and wealthy, the scared and the bold. As society continues to come to terms with needing to live simpler lives, we must continue to live out the truth we have come to know about a life as a disciple of Christ: that he brings life in all its fullness (John 10:10).
The new laws on gathering of over 6 people do not apply to places of worship. We are still able to gather for worship, in our COVID-secure environment and I would encourage you to come along if you feel you can. It was wonderful to gather at All Saints’ for the first Sunday service in 6 months. You are welcome to join us this week for the following services:
Sunday: 9.30 am at St Peter’s for Holy Communion. This service will be live-streamed onto our Facebook page. facebook.com/huttonparish
11.15 am at All Saints for Holy Communion.
Wednesday: 9.30 am at All Saints’ for a spoken Prayer Book service of Holy Communion.
Normally our church has its Annual Meeting in April each year. Due to the pandemic this was impossible this year, so it is now booked to take place on Sunday 27th September, in St Peter’s at 11am. This is a slight change to the advertised time of 3pm, which is one way that the new restrictions on gathering have affected us. Therefore, the meeting will take place immediately after the 9.30am service. Please note that there will be no 11.15am service at All Saints’ on this day – my apologies for this.
For those of you who are unaware what an APCM is, it is a chance to review the previous calendar year (2019) and the time when new church wardens and PCC members are elected to serve the parish. All are welcome to attend, and Electoral Roll members are eligible to vote if required to do so.
We are looking for up to 4 new PCC members and 3 Deanery Synod representatives. If you would like to stand for the PCC, or nominate someone else, then please do get in touch with me and I’ll explain how this can be done, and what is required from the role. We would like to receive any nominations by Friday 25th September.
As ever, please do get in touch If there is anything I, or the leadership team, can help with.
With every blessing,