Thanksgiving and Prayer from 17th June

I am planning to put things up for thanksgiving and prayer where there are special things for which to give thanks or for prayer, rather than always on a Monday. I also want to focus on the Job series.
Thanksgiving that the replacement heater in church is being fitted tomorrow and today we have a new bee man visiting. It is a tricky problem to know how to deal with the bees behind the clock face so it is safe as we cannot remove the bees with the clock face in place. The temporary picture on the front page of the website is to encourage prayer for the survivors and bereaved for the Grenfell tower.

Thanksgiving and Prayer from 8th June

Let’s give thanks that we can commit ourselves and God’s world into his hands in these challenging times. Much will change in the coming months and years let us be praying that those in leadership will be wise in their priorities and decisions they take.

We are in the process of having 4 lots of work done at church. The clock face is due to be removed but the person who was going to remove the bees is now unable to do it so we need to find a way forward with this. I am thankful for work Nick has been doing in looking at different possibilities for access.
The heater in church has been on order for a long time but our installer is finding it difficult get hold of a replacement heater.
Nick’s Dad is booked in to repaint the Charis starting at the end of the month.
Nick, Josh and Alan are in the midst of clearing ivy that is damaging the East end window.

Forty Hill School, St George’s Freezywater and other schools as they adapt to the new ways of working and keeping everyone safe. Many different types of businesses and service providers e.g. dentists facing challenges of starting work again as lockdown rules are gradually relaxed.

Wisdom for Jesus Church standing committee on resuming services once dates clear guidelines are available. For leadership in London Diocese and across the rest of the Church of England and indeed all the other churches as they plan for the future.

Families facing financial difficulties and continuing pressures of lockdown including children missing their schooling.

“Prayer for peace and wisdom for all in authority and those in positions of leadership within various communities that the current violence on our streets may be quelled and a more constructive and peaceful dialogue and way forward be opened up.”

The following is a prayer from Bishop Sarah
Dear Lord,
We are now planning for our shared future,
we are seeking to create a safe space for encounters with Jesus Christ
and we hope to be good news within the communities that we serve.
We pray for wisdom,
we pray for creativity
and we pray for pragmatism as we discern your will.
Father, in the midst of the chaos
and lament of this season, in your mercy,
help us not to seek to control the wildness of your Spirit,
but help us be immersed in your generous love,
rebuilding lives, communities and your City.
Amen

Thanksgiving and Prayer from 1st June

In the church year we have reached Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples and as they were open to the Holy Spirit so their lives were transformed. Life continued to be very challenging and difficult but they saw God at work in their midst. Next week is Trinity Sunday, an opportunity to think about the God we look to and trust. With the help of Luke, the writer of book of Acts, we can see how the first disciples were led forward by the Holy Spirit. As we start to see changes in what we are allowed to do, let us pray we will also be led forward as individuals as to what our priorities should be as rules are relaxed. Also pray for Jesus Church as our local church, with its online presence, as it thinks about starting services again, for our Diocese and national church as they prepare guidance and our government and governments round the world.

Some school years across England are returning this coming week. Let us pray for them and in particular for the whole community at Forty Hill School as it opens its doors on Tuesday and adapts to these challenging circumstances. Forty Hill governors are having a zoom meeting on Wednesday.

Pentecost also has a worldwide aspect so let us pray for God’s wider world. Jane wrote “Your continued prayers please, the pandemic seems to be keeping at bay in Uganda only 400+ confirmed cases and no deaths but as we see from other countries this can change rapidly if it gets a ‘hold’”. Those in the southern hemisphere are concerned they may face bigger challenges with the virus as they head into winter. The World Health Organisation is facing many challenges.

As I mentioned in the sermon last Sunday, Barbara and I are very grateful for your prayers and are gradually getting stronger.

Thanksgiving and Prayer from 26th May

Barbara did well on her Saturday shift although very tired at the end and is now at work today. It is a common problem for those who have had the virus to take a long time to recover; for both of us the slowest part of the recovery is being able to think/study in a sustained way. I can now cycle and Barbara is able to walk as before.

At Jesus Church we are thankful that we have been able to proceed with getting the big clock on the front of church building restored. We received a generous gift last year which had already been set aside to fund the cost of this project. We now have the faculty permission from the Diocese and been encouraged to proceed so you may see people working from a cherry picker to remove the clock face and prepare to put in an electric motor for the new clock. It had also been our plan to redecorate the Charis Centre over the summer as it was starting to look very “scruffy” after 10 years. We give thanks that through additional donations given for this specific purpose we are hoping that the repainting will start very soon and be completed during this lockdown period.

The treasurer has reported that more people have started to give via the bank – thank you and cause for thanksgiving to God as covering our general expenditure it likely to be challenging for some time.

Looking forward we are still waiting for guidelines that would allow for people to come back to church services. Let us pray for wisdom for those who have the responsibility for formulating plans and our leaders as we look at the implications for us. In the meantime weekly and special services will continue to be put up on the internet. It has been in the press that the new Archbishop of York will be doing an extensive review of the Church of England with a view to cutting costs. This is likely to include a reduction in theof number of bishops and paid clergy as well as the closure of some churches. . Many parts of our economy will be facing similar challenges. I remarked in the Sunday after Ascension service that the first disciples were facing a very disturbing time and God led them though it. So much of our world is facing extreme challenges, but the bible gives many examples of God taking his people forward.

I mentioned a number of clergy on the move last week and failed to include Steve and Sara due to move to the Great Yarmouth area later this year. It will be a particularly big challenge for them all in the current circumstances.

Next Sunday is Pentecost, when we remember the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples and their lives were transformed. Paul encourages us all to be open to go on being filled with Holy Spirit, let us pray that this will be a time for us to be refreshed and renewed in our faith that we may be effective in God’s service.

Thanksgiving and Prayer from Monday 18th May.

Thursday is Ascension Day. The disciples were told wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit. In recent years we have joined with the initiative, that started with the Archbishops, of “Thy Kingdom Come” that has encouraged prayer between Ascension and Pentecost. https://www.thykingdomcome.global provides a link if you wish to use their resources.

I shared in the sermon on Sunday about our experiences of God’s healing and how we are only gradually regaining our capacity to work. We are thankful that we are still progressing at a significant rate and trust this continues. Barbara was due to work Sat, Sun and Mon over the bank holiday weekend. This has been reduced to Sat and Monday and I will be able to take and collect her for those 2 shifts. I am also steadily regaining my strength. We are thankful for the prayers of so many over these weeks. I was conscious of being supported in the many funerals I have taken over the past few weeks. I have never taken so many funerals where I have had some personal link with those who are bereaved in such a short space of time.

The leadership and staff of Forty Hill School and all the other schools are working hard to prepare for the classes that will start after half term. They need to be wise in all the arrangements they make and parents have to decide if they are happy for their children to return.

Jane’s prayer letters provide helpful insights about praying for other parts of God’s world and if you don’t receive the prayer letter by email there is information on the website http://www.hopuganda.org/

A number of clergy are on the move – Alison and Andrew Gaudion from the Salvation Army, Stuart Owen who has been our Area Dean and Gordon Giles from St Mary’s Enfield. It will not be easy to start in a new church or cathedral (Gordon) at the moment. Stephen Gallagher, priest in Charge at St Peter and St Paul Ordinance Road, has been appointed as the new Area Dean. Let us pray for them and the churches they are leaving

As more people start to return to work and decide how to return, as the health service starts to offer more routine procedures let us pray for wise decisions and planning.
Let us be praying that what becomes the new “normal” for the foreseeable future will respect the truth that each and every one of us is made in the image of God and worthy of respect.

Update on Wednesday 13th May

Barbara went to work on Tuesday as planned but was too breathless to finish the shift so I was called to collect her at 2.30pm. She will not do tomorrow’s shift and we will review what she does over the bank holiday weekend. It is quite common for those who have had the virus to take many weeks to rebuild their strength.

Thanksgiving and Prayer from Monday 11th May

As we listen to the news we have much for which to give thanks in dealing with Covid 19 given the number of cases have dropped. Let us pray for those in our hospitals who are now trying to catch up with other treatments that have been delayed, but know their care may be diverted once more to to Covid 19 patents. We also know that those in nursing/residential care homes are facing very difficult and challenging situations.

Ian and Barbara continue to make progress. Barbara is at working the early shift from 7.30 am to 3.30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.. Ian will take her and collect her. He has funerals on Wednesday and Friday at the crematorium.

Local Anglican clergy will have a zoom meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss possibilities of opening churches for worship at some point the future. There are many different things to consider for each building but I am sure there will be general guidance from government. The diocese will also help us work out what is right in our situation. Sarah, Bishop of London is the lead Bishop for whole of England, let us remember her in prayers as well as the leaders in our area, Bishop Rob, Archdeacon John and Area Dean Stuart. We need wisdom as to how we can not only keep everyone keep safe but also give people the confidence that they will be safe.

Church- 57 people clicked on to listen to the service for yesterday and 8 people for Tiddlywinks. It was so good to be able to lead a service in church once more but please pray for wisdom as we seek new ways of being a church. Sue Spinks is in the midst of preparing an update for the PCC and has been continuing to look after church finances. We have received a significant sum of money as the Inland Revenue have just paid 3months of gift aid – from those who are able to gift aid their giving. It is also important that Ian spots items in need of urgent maintenance with only occasional visits to Church.

This is a key time of change/rebuilding as people start to get back to work while at the same time limiting risk to avoid a further spike of infection. A particular concern is the difficulties of ensuring acceptable levels of safety on public transport. It is all a big responsibility for those in leadership. There are also a lot of issues for our schools to face and work through to keep everyone safe. Alongside this they have all the pressure of providing educational materials for families to work through with their children at home.

Many are finding the current situation overwhelming at times so let us pray for strength and perseverance especially for those who are really struggling.

As we thought on Sunday, let us pray that we will be guided and inspired as so much rebuilding goes on at every level of;- nations, communities, places of work, institutions, church life and in our own personal lives. Ian

Thanksgiving and Prayer from Monday 4th May

Ian and Barbara continue to be very grateful for people’s prayers and the progress that has been made. Over the week Barbara has had more good days than days when she has just needed rest and she has managed some short walks. Barbara returns to work for an early shift on Wednesday, the day Ian is free of specific commitments, so he can take her and collect her. They think Ian is about a week behind Barbara, so while he has not been nearly as ill, he still gets very tired at times particularly after taking services and funerals.

Ian took the funeral this morning for Andy Done and tomorrow it will be for Ruth Wellington at the crematorium; some of her family will be unable to attend as they are shielding. Ian will also be preparing for funerals on Wednesday and Friday of next week.
Forty Hill Governors will be meeting via zoom on Tuesday.

Church- 62 people clicked on for the service yesterday and 8 people for Tiddlywinks. Sue has been continuing to look after church finances and will be preparing an update for the PCC. We are grateful for all who have continued to give to Jesus Church including those who have been in touch during the week asking for church details so they can give on line. Our church leaders will need wisdom when they are consulted about opening up church buildings again for worship, as we in turn make our own arrangements – this may be a quite some time in the future.

Let us pray for those for whom finance is a big issue: those responsible for companies that, in the current economic climate, need to scale back their operations and lay off staff: for those whose work has ceased along with their income that they may receive the interim help they require; those who would normally rely on school lunches and possibly foodbanks to feed their families, that their basic needs will be met.

Many families have relatives and friends who are ill with non-Covid 19 conditions that require investigation or treatment/operations. There is extra concern being caused by the delays being experienced. In addition the additional anxiety for expectant mums at what should be a happy time. We give thanks that Lesley’ grandson (who we prayed for last week) has had very positive medical reviews.

Many countries are starting to relax rules on what people are allowed to do and starting to get the economy working again. Political leaders need great wisdom as to how to move our country forward to the first stage of recovery. We pray that they can communicate to everyone in such a way that is clear how we need to act to keep the country as safe as possible within the revised framework. Let us also remember to pray for those who are shielding and who may well be unable to go out for a long time and for those who are working under great pressure in essential services.

As we thought on Sunday, let us remember we are called to be a learning church, a caring church, a worshipping church and a growing church. Ian

Thanksgiving and prayer from Monday 27th April

Ian and Barbara continue to be grateful for your prayers and are very thankful for progress that has been made. Looking back to what was written a week ago they have come a very long way. Barbara had a good day Saturday and felt good on Sunday morning, so she led a 20 min Tiddlywink service. She was exhausted for the rest of the day and is taking it gently today (Monday). Clearly Barbara is making very significant progress but she still struggles to breathe at times so has a long way to go before she is back to normal and able to return to work. Ian was also very tired after yesterday’s service with all the complexities of putting together items, in the correct order, from a number of different sources but feels better today (Monday). They would both be grateful for your continued prayers.

Ian has just finalised the details of the funeral service for Linda which will be at the grave side on Tuesday at 2.00pm. Please pray for all of the family including the children who will be attending.

Also for Lesley whose husband has died; his funeral is also on Tuesday. Pray also for her grandson Charlie who has spent a lot of time in Great Ormond Street Hospital and is now due to have more tests.

On Wednesday Ian will be taking the funeral of Mrs Jane Matilda Smith, Nicola Monk’s Grandmother at the crematorium. Please pray for all the family and the service.
Ian is also taking funerals on Monday 4th May for Andrew Done and Tuesday 5th May for Mrs Ruth Wellington both at Crematorium.

Church Finances
Our treasurer reported that our tax refund, from gift aided donations over the past three months, has been received promptly from the Inland Revenue therefore we have been able to meet all of our financial commitments in April. It was reported in Church News that Liverpool Diocese has had to put some of their assistant clergy and other workers on furlough. Please pray for wise decisions for each diocese and especially the London Diocesan Team.

Schools
Please pray for our local schools as the teachers and support staff are busy preparing materials that their children can access online. For parents as they support their children to continue their education at home. Pray also for the staff that will be physically back in school looking after the children of key workers who are working to support the fight against Covid-19 and keep the country functioning at a basic level.

A significant number of people, including members of Jesus Church, have been told to shield themselves which means they are not allowed to leave their homes and gardens for 12 weeks and that is likely to be extended. Please pray for them given the practical challenges they are facing as well as the feelings of isolation from the outside world.

We have special links with Uganda via Jane and Homes of Promise.
Jane commented “Please continue praying for Uganda – these are difficult times for people with so little who struggle normally with malaria/typhoid/HIV without the added pressure of lockdown and COVID-19. There is also flooding from Lake Victoria and locusts destroying crops in the North”

News can provide many areas for prayer especially our Prime Minister as he starts work again and wisdom in the lead he gives and governments across the world. There are also many people with serious illnesses needing hospital treatment apart from COVID-19 but may have been triggered by the virus and health workers and some others working at danger to themselves as they care for others.

Thanksgiving and prayer from Monday 20th April

There are so many things for which to give thanks and offer prayer. Some items are on the news: wisdom for governments in allocation of resources: how long to keep the country in strict lockdown: the development of an effective vaccine: sourcing of vital equipment for front line workers. It is also very hard for families seeing their loved ones going off to work in situations that put them at particular risk of becoming infected by Covid-19. As we come together to pray, albeit remotely, listed below are some ideas for prayer and thanksgiving at this time.

Ian and Barbara are very grateful for your ongoing prayers as they continue to recover Following a test on Thursday Barbara knows she is now free of the virus. However they both have a long way to go before they will be fully recovered – Barbara’s lungs still struggle for much of the time (but wearing a crushed onion 24 hours a day does seem to be helping) and at times Ian needs to sleep all day and all night.

Please pray for our local schools as the teachers and support staff are busy preparing materials for their classes that the children can access online. Pray also for the staff that will be physically back in school looking after children of Key workers as they work to support the fight against Covid-19 and keep the country functioning at a basic level.

..

A significant number of people, including members of Jesus Church, have been told to shield themselves which means they are not to leave their homes and gardens for 12 weeks and that is likely to be extended. Please pray for them given the practical challenges they are facing as well as the feelings of isolation from the outside world.

Please pray for families who have relatives in other parts of the world with health services that have far fewer resources than in the UK (India and parts of Africa including Uganda come to mind) Many of these and other similar countries have few cases of Covid-19 at the moment but there is a risk of many people losing their lives if numbers grow.

Please pray for those who mourn.
The family of Linda Liversidge and especially Alan her husband; Ian will be taking a grave side funeral at 2.00pm on 28th April for members of the family (There will be a memorial service for everyone later in the year).

Lesley whose husband has died; his funeral is also on 28th April. Pray also for her grandson Charlie who has spent a lot of time in Great Ormond Street Hospital and is now due to have more tests.

The family of Mrs Jane Matilda Smith, Nicola Monk’s Grandmother; Ian will be taking the funeral for family members at the Crematorium at 1.00pm on 29th April
The family of Ruth Wellington, – Rochelle’s Grandmother. We expect the funeral will be in early May.

Church Finances.
Thank you to those who used to give via the offertory plate and have now sent cheques to David Bulger or give directly via the bank and those who continue to give via the bank. So far Sue our treasurer has been able to pay all the bills that have come in and we are grateful.