Rev'd Robyn Boyd(Locum)
March 26th, 2020 St Nicholas News:
Your new weekly communication from Rev’d Robyn in this time of “exile”
Urgent News: we are not able to have the church open at all on Sundays, for any reason
Here we are, so suddenly “in exile”, cast out of our central gathering point (our church) and communal worship, into a strange new landscape of isolation, shutdowns and multiple uncertainties. I can’t help but think of ancient Israel, 40 years or so after Jesus’ death. Their Temple is destroyed – their ritual heart of religion - and they are largely dispersed. There was no returning to Temple based religion. Did they roll over and proclaim the ending of Judaism? No, they adapted. Their faith life shifted to the synagogues as places of worship and teaching. God, they learned, was no longer limited to a building or place. This, too was the experience of the early Christian Church: God’s people could worship in Spirit wherever they were.
Just as we, too, know. The big difference for us, however, in the clutches of this Covid 19 virus, is that our worship cannot now be expressed in community, together. Can the Church as a corporate worshipping, connected people of God, survive this time of closure and exile? If we were primarily self-focused, just a club-like church for ourselves and not a church for all, we would have cause to worry. That’s not being the Body of Christ. If we wanted to return to “business as usual”, without discerning what God is saying to us, in these extraordinary times, we should be worried.
That is comfort-zone church, not the radical, counter-cultural body built on Christ himself. Let’s take this time to reflect and review: review our personal faith walk; review how we are as Church. How are we actually being the Body of Christ in our community? As we all continue in this season of isolation and insecurity, take stock of what you are learning in and of Christ. Take stock of the difference that not gathering makes to your faith life, whether positive or negative. One of the truths of our life in Christ is that what is broken can be fixed; what has been given up for dead can have new life through the breath of God’s Spirit (and that’s a good summary of our Sunday readings!).
As we live through this unprecedented climate of fear and restriction, keep heart. God’s Spirit is very much at work – in the now dispersed church, and in you. In the power of his Spirit, be Christ to those around you, in mercy, service, justice and prayer. And let’s watch, wait and pray, and be ready for what our Lord births in us. Let’s find what laughter we can! And if you’re looking for encouragement, do join on FB: The Kindness Pandemic On Sundays at home– with reminder that we now cannot be present in the church for any reason
❖Get ready for church – no pjs!
❖Light a candle or two
❖Take your copy of The Second Order of Communion (Prayer Book p119, or the copy sent in a separate file with this newsletter) or the Prayer Praise and Proclamation Service. (p35, also sent)
❖ Get the readings ready – these will be emailed to you by Saturday evening. Then Alternative 1
❖ Print off the sermon, or have it there on your ipad/tablet/laptop (to be sent in the same email with the readings on Saturday).
❖ You’re ready to go! Read it all aloud, even if you’re by yourself. or Alternative 2 By computer, tune into one of the services being offered online, such as:
❖ St Paul’s Cathedral: Sundays 10am Holy Eucharist with Kids’ Talk.
Follow the links
❖ St Andrew’s Brighton, Sunday Follow the information and Resources link
❖ Diocesan Service,
What’s the latest in this new world of Covid 19?
I’d hoped we could have the church open on Sunday mornings for personal prayer, quiet conversation and opportunity for individual Eucharist by extension but with further restrictions upon us, we cannot do that. From the Diocese. Since last Sunday, these are the rules:
No Church Services Indoors:
All indoor church services of any nature are suspended (see below re funerals and weddings) No Churches Open for Prayer.
Churches cannot be open to the public or parishioners for general prayer.
Unless you hear otherwise this will include Good Friday and Easter.
No Church Services Outdoors No outdoor services are permitted on church property or at any other venue.
This is the decision of the Diocese and consistent with the urging of the government not to gather. This includes Easter Day, Anzac Day or any other occasion, whether at a beach or in a park. No Small Groups, Meetings, Gatherings, All church meetings, groups and gatherings for any purpose are suspended whether on church property or off church property.
This includes Bible study groups, prayer meetings, Parish Council meetings, women’s or men’s groups, concerts, youth or children’s events. Home Communion and visitation - possible Clergy may still need to visit people, including offering home communion, in one kind. In such cases, the recipient cannot be in compulsory isolation and the recipient must be agreeable to the visit. This should only be for the people living in that home and not for a gathered group. The utmost hygiene of clean hands and distance must be maintained, not only for the safety of the person at home but for the clergy also. We advise not sharing food or drink.
Weddings and funerals – Restrictions: there are new rules about numbers that can attend – 10 maximum for funerals; 5 for weddings. Social distancing rules must be complied with.
Keep safe, and be on the look out for the ways that God is blessing you!