Covid-19 Letter 22 and service information
One morning I found Cathy tuning into the Madness & Mayhem summer camp. They weren’t able to meet up in person but the three age groups moved online for the week.
The provision seems to have a number of otherwise responsible adults: teachers, even head teachers, doctors, engineers, social workers, students, members of the clergy regressing into childhood for the week. It was hilarious, incredibly creative with hi tech support and great fun for all the kids and teens. The talk I saw from Ben Robinson was very good indeed, on Luke 1:1-4, even his daughter Orla got in on the act, and his wife Courtney too.
Actually there were loads of adults now approaching 40 who some of us remember as teenagers 30 years ago. They had surnames, or still have them; of Bowskill, Webster, Lambert. Others a little younger; de Mars, Williams, Robinson, Payne, Kirsch, Eley, Hawkins, Freeman, Kilgour, Stockwell and some just in their twenties Sweet, Chedgey….I could go on but only saw one episode. Behind it all oozing wisdom, experience, gravitas and skill, Neil & Sarah Barber and Colin Barton doing the deals.
The kids love it and it has helped many of them come to faith in Christ, and they have now clocked up a good fews years of faithful discipleship. As it says in Acts, “the Lord’s hand was with them”. Something which Neil & Sarah started back in the last century, then spread to Derby when he became vicar there, which then spread to other churches as ex St Mary’s members introduced kids in their churches to the joys & delights of M&M.
Wonderful. Do take a look. It is great fun, but they are faithful to the Gospel which converted many of us in our teenage years. Image is important and changes with time, but substance should never change.
Shifting to the other end of the age range we ought to remember those who were with us at the start of the Covid lockdown but passed on to heaven during our absence from our physical church services: Bryan Chare, Isobel Rolfe, Bobbly Steed & David Pawson. We thank the LORD for their time with us (over thirty years in all cases as Bryan & Katrina visited us for 20 years before they moved here!) and pray for the loss they are to their families.
So, do join us in person if you can in the rest of August as we do have safe space, and with two entries and two exits this week, arrivals don’t need to start coming until 9:40 onwards. Masks are now compulsory but those who lead, read, pray & teach are allowed to remove them when at a great distance on the dais.
Those who have returned to physical church have enjoyed seeing people again and its possible to safely chat at a distance in the churchyard, car park or go for a walk in the park with a friend or two after church. Yes, it is wierd and a bit frustrating not singing but we sing along in our heads and tap with our feet. So do sign up when the invite goes out on Tuesdays, it’s well worth it.
This Sunday we will be looking at Acts 12, a passage which in 38 years of ordained ministry, with 34 of them at St Mary’s, I’ve never ever preached on before.
Try and read the chapter before you join and try reflecting on why James is killed and Peter released. Both were Apostles, both were part of the Lord’s inner circle with John, who saw the Transfigured Christ and the Risen Christ. So why does God let one die and the other not?
The answer will be given us in heaven. It is a mystery. Something God knows but has chosen not to reveal to us yet.
The passage also flags up the worst sin in God’s eyes. You should find that easily!
May the LORD be with you.
Services and groups for Sunday 9 August
Livestreamed Service, Sunday 10am: www.stmarys-basingstoke.org.uk/online-service
(Other ways to join: youtube.com/StMarysBasingstoke | Listen by phone: 01256830011 (charged as a regular landline number according to your phone plan.)
Children's Group, from 9.30am: www.stmarys-basingstoke.org.uk/childrens-group
Virtual tea and coffee, from 15 minutes after the service and notices end: Contact us for Zoom details.
Coming up this week
Sunday, 9 August
09:30am Online Children's Group
10:00am Livestreamed Service
15 minutes after service Virtual Coffee on Zoom
7:00pm Sundays@7 on Zoom
8:30pm Connect on Zoom
Published 07/08/2020, 12:45