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We are taking every precaution to protect against coronavirus. All surfaces, door handles and handrails are sanitised. Hand gel is available in church. If you have any concerns, please do let us know. Thanks.
A hearing loop and large print notice sheets are available.
Toilets are just inside the entrance to the church hall.
Hope all is well and you’ve been able to enjoy the sunshine this week.
We’re looking forward to celebrating communion this Sunday as we share bread and wine together on zoom after the service at 11am. Although I originally felt we should wait until we’re able to physically meet again, I have hugely appreciated the messages from others about this as well as our discussions at PCC last week, and we have now decided that given the on-going nature of the situation, it is right to provide this opportunity for us to continue to celebrate communion as a church during this time.
As Jesus broke bread and shared it with his disciples the night before he died, and then did the same with the wine, he instructed them to “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). These are the words that are carved on the front of the communion table in church. It always amazes me to think that believers have obeyed this command in churches across the world for 2000 years.
Guidelines for communion
Let me give a little bit of information about how it will work on Sunday:
1. Please come prepared with a piece of bread (any shape or size) and either a glass of wine or fruit juice (it doesn’t have to be red although we do recommend avoiding more elaborate drinks like fizzy drinks or spirits in order to keep things as close as possible to how Jesus intended it to be).
2. When receiving communion, we remember Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. But also, by eating and drinking, it signifies that I personally have a part in Jesus’s death, that the benefits of it apply to me. This is, of course, true for those who have put their faith in him. Therefore, communion is something that is only for believers. Others are welcome to join us on zoom but only those who believe should receive the bread and wine.
3. For young people who have been baptised or confirmed or renewed baptism vows at an age where they have made this choice for themselves, please encourage them to be involved and share the bread and wine/juice with them. For children who have not yet done this, then perhaps take the opportunity as parents to say a short prayer for them at the point when we receive communion.
4. As we gather on zoom, I will share words from the Bible and some prayers in preparation, then we will receive the bread at the same time in our homes, and then likewise the wine or juice. Although it won’t be quite the same as when we are physically gathered, I have no doubt this will be very meaningful as once again we remember Jesus’s sacrifice for us, that which unites us as a church even at this time when we are physically apart.
The details for connecting to the zoom communion (zoomunion?!?) are here. Please request password.
Sunday 31 May at 11:00 AM
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 776 7252 4464
Password available from Mark Francis
Just a couple of other things to briefly let you know about this weekend…
New church directories are being delivered over the weekend either by hand or in the post, and everyone should have received their copy by Tuesday at the latest. Thanks so much to Jane Jones, David Legg, Chris Saunders, Glen Jones, Anne Butler, the Poole family and the Matthews family for all the help putting these together and delivering them. Don’t miss the letter from me that’s enclosed with the directories outlining staff team changes happening over the summer as we welcome Tim Dullaway to St John’s, and please do get in touch if you have any questions.
Latest Tear Times
Brenda Wilkinson has been sent some copies of Tearfund’s latest free magazine. Please let her know if you would like one.
Paula Blake and family, along with members of the Catering Team and other volunteers, are delivering cream teas this Sunday afternoon to members of the church and local community who may feel isolated at this time. This is a fantastic initiative!
The Marriage Course
The Marriage Course is being made available online from Monday 8 June or Tuesday 9 June. JCC are promoting this among local churches at the moment. If you’re interested, please do get in touch or more information is available here, including an excellent introductory video: http://5ec13a0aa9d80.site123.me/
I think that’s all for now. Thank you for taking the time to read. Stay safe and keep in touch.
With love to you all,
This week's events
Due to the Coronavirus, we have to respond daily. The front page of the website has the latest information
Livestream for Easter Sunday at 10 am (link available on front page)
Prayer For Each Day
Prayer for Saturday, May 30th
As we think about tomorrow's services, we thank you for the opportunity to take Holy Communion under the current circumstances, and for the ability to continuing having online fellowship.
Prayer for Sunday, May 31st
As we are able to gather today at a distance, we pray for all those who are persecuted for faith in Christ, that they would be strengthened and protected; and for their persecutors, that Christian witness would create in them a change of heart.
Lots of children are returning to school this week – pray for those who may be anxious, pray for teachers responding to unpredictable situations, pray for children of all ages not be disadvantaged in their learning due to this crisis.
Pray for the nation of Brazil that is widely reported to have large numbers of COVID-19 cases, and ask that God would slow the spread of the virus in that nation.
Pray for God’s protection on family relationships during this time, and particularly between husbands and wives and parents and children.
Pray for those who have recently been bereaved, and especially in situations where they were unable to say goodbye because of the restrictions in place.
As lockdown is slowly lifted, pray especially for the youngest children who may not have seen anyone other than their parents for a long time, and ask that God would help them feel happy around wider family and friends.
Please pray for our online services and for all those watching from their homes and ask that God would be building his church even (especially!) during this time.
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