I haven’t known anything like this in my lifetime. The silent, invisible enemy of Covid-19, has invaded the world, leaving many people facing the tragedy of losing loved ones, many of whom died alone. Many are facing an uncertain future as economies all around the world collapse.
I remember years back, when I was working with a Practical Aid Team in the barrios of Santo Domingo de los Colorados in Ecuador. Families were living in appalling conditions, and all around them there were piles of disease infected rubbish – the smell was unbelievable. But right there, in the middle of all this, there were beautiful flowers growing, and they were beginning to take back the land that the rubbish had invaded. The flowers were being nurtured by local people and soon there would be a stunning display of new life emerging from the rubbish, bringing a new fragrance and a sense of hope to the community.
You see where I’m going with this.
Out of the devastation caused by this pandemic, we are seeing some beautiful acts of kindness and the personal sacrifice of countless people who have risen to fight back against this invisible enemy. 99 year old war veteran, Capt Tom Moore, completed 100 laps of his garden, raising millions of pounds for NHS Charities Together. Nurses, doctors and support workers in NHS hospitals all over the UK, have been seen coming together quite spontaneously to pray. In the two parishes that I look after, Oving with Pitchcott and Quainton, the Parish Councils have mobilised an army of volunteers who are supporting the vulnerable with countless acts of kindness and practical care.
The doors of our church have been closed for now, following directives from the Government and the Church of England. This is a shame, because I know that many people come into the church building to find a moment of peace and quiet, often to pray and reflect. However, the church is still very much active through practical aid support, social media, live streaming and pre-recorded video services.
In fact, we have had a lot more people attend our online church services than we would normally expect on a Sunday evening. Well over 100 people have been tuning in and we have had a lot of emails from people who have found them helpful at this time of uncertainty. Our Community Choir rehearsals continue too, with Zoom Conference Calls and online Rehearsal Videos. We are talking with each other far more than we used to!
May I assure you all of my thoughts and prayers at this time. And if you haven’t connected with our online videos, catch them here: follow the link for Live Services at the top of the page.
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