This is the first of what will be a weekly communication. We don’t want it to be too long, and we do want it to be helpful and interesting, a place where we hear from each other.
It’ll have 4 basic sections: a reflective piece from Neil; an interview, a podcast or something similar; room for news; links to websites that might be helpful/interesting.
Please do get involved – if you find things or want to contribute – contact Neil who will be responsible for the content.
If you have problems connecting with anything we link to – then contact Phil.
If there are things that have upset you and you want to rant at someone – see Ian 😉.
When an Earworm
You know you have an earworm when you find yourself repeating a piece of music long after it is playing. I’ve had mine since last July. I heard this song by Frank Turner:
This is how it begins:
History’s been leaning on me lately
I can feel the future breathing down my neck
And all the things I thought were true
When I was young, and you were too
Turned out to be broken
And I don’t know what comes next
In a world that has decided
That it’s going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind …
(you can read the lyrics here: https://songmeanings.com/songs/view/3530822107859571744/)
It’s that last line that kept going through my head and wouldn’t leave. And it still won’t. It feels more relevant than ever.
When things are uncertain and we panic, or when we feel under stress, one of the first things that goes is our kindness.
1. Be kind to yourself
Over the next weeks some of you will have some bad days. You’ll might feel depressed, lonely, bored or just angry at a new group of people: #coronidiots. They are the ones who when told to stay home, think it doesn’t apply to them and carry on regardless.
There will be days when you just have to say to yourself: ‘yep, it’s rubbish!’. There are days when deep sighs might be in plentiful supply. You’re in good company, David was there as well (Psalm 5):
Listen to my words, O Lord,
consider my sighing.
2 Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
3 Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
morning by morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.
2. Be kind to those with you
If you are at home with your family a lot more than usually, you might need to discover deep wells of kindness. When I saw this it made me laugh a lot:
Here’s the thing: the folks that are with you – they are also going to have bad days. They may even find it difficult having you around all the time! ‘Normal life’ might have actually cushioned you against some of the trickier things about your relationships. That’s why you need to choose to be kind. To your spouses – choose to love them through this time. Kindness is not about feeling – it’s about the nitty gritty concrete actions. Act with kindness and see what happens to feelings.
And if you have kids around – be kind to them. Some of them have had a rubbish end to their school term, and in some cases school life. They will be bored at times. They will be frustrated. They will want to be in front of a screen more than you might want them to be. Before letting go at them – take a breath – and be kind.
3. Be kind to those around you
There will be ways to help others in days to come – and some of you might be involved. But watch out for neighbours. Contact them and see if they are ok. They may be. It’s worth an ask. Just be kind.
It’s the fruit of the Spirit stuff (Galatians 5:22). It’s the overflow of the life of God at work in you. Let it flow.
Everyone in the church has been ‘put’ into a Connect Group. This is not the same as the Connect meal groups! These are new groups just for this time when we can’t meet together.
If anyone has been missed – it will be a mistake. Please let Neil know.
Our hope is that these groups can be places where you can share news – and some of that would be great to go into this section of the newsletter. So let us know!
Each week we will have a chance to link to an interview with someone in church or maybe some of us waffling away together. We have a number of folks who are working in health care. Kate is one of our doctors and so I asked her if we could get to know her a bit more to begin this series.
These are some resources that you might find helpful.
I am constantly in awe at the material produced by the folks at The Bible Project. They explain complicated things really well. And they do so in short bursts. Brilliant. If you have time to while away you could trawl through this site and it would be time well spent.
Charlie’s offered this: Here is a new series (The Chosen) that I would recommend for your list of ‘things to watch and do’.
It comes as an app that you download, rather than being through Netflix etc. It is events in the life of Jesus from the perspective of different disciples and is faithful to the text.
If you have little people in your household, Jemma suggested Awesome Cutlery.
If you have children this will be brilliant. (If you don’t have children it will still be brilliant, but maybe not as engaging) Samuel loves Awesome Cutlery – crazy, zany and bible based brilliance.
You probably have your own fave go-to-places. Let Neil know and we will share them far and wide!
Don’t forget to join us for our online service this Sunday at 10.30am: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/836810848 (Meeting ID: 836 810 848)