Keep in Touch: 12th July 2020

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12th July 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I had a zoom call with other ministers this week and was struck by a story that one person shared about anticipatory grief. It refers to the process of grieving that happens when a terrible event is expected but before it happens. The event can be anything, illness, loss of a job, for one-self or for the people that you love. It seemed to me that this explains some of the current atmosphere of anxiety and sadness.

Jesus took a dim view of worrying, pointing out that it was fruitless. I like the translation from The Message version of the Bible. After giving the examples of God’s care in nature the author writes

“What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in Godreality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matt 6:30-34)

This is easier in theory than in practice! Each day may have enough troubles of its own but somehow we can still find time to worry about tomorrow. If not for ourselves then for our children, grandchildren, friends and extended families. Some are exhausted keyworkers, who risked their own health to help others. Others on furlough, unemployed or working in industries where the future is uncertain. Many have been juggling work and home schooling. Still more suffer with poor mental health, or work to maintain good relationships under lockdown.

In our reading from Romans this week Paul reminds us that, in Jesus, God has dealt once and of all with the brokenness of the world. He suggests an antidote to worry. Rather than fixing our minds on the material things that we want for those we love, lift up those needs to God. Paul puts it beautifully in his letter to the Philippians.

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.” (Phil 4:6-7)

If you find yourself worrying this week, why not transform those thoughts into ‘arrow prayers.’ Arrow prayers are short and in the moment, just like arrows shot into the heavens. In them you entrust your concerns to God as they cross your mind, and thank God for his faithfulness and his love. Instead of fretting, pray for God’s blessing on the people you love.

If you find it easier to pray with others then write down your worries and offer them to God with us at evening prayer on Wednesday at 5pm. You can join by phone (just let me know in advance so I can drop off a service sheet).

With love,
Louise Annison


READINGS for the 5th Sunday after Trinity (Year A)

  • Isaiah 55:10-13
  • Psalm 65:[1-8]. 9-13
  • Romans 8:1-11
  • Matthew 13:1-9. 18-23

Readings available to read online (New Revised Standard Version - NRSV)


NOTICES

Holy Trinity Blacon are the living church of our living God, and we continue to be at work here! If you are able, do check the parish website (especially the Coronavirus Support page) or our Facebook page for updates. We will put further worship and prayer up there (and on our holytrinityblacon2020 You Tube channel) each Sunday morning by 10am.

JOIN US FOR EVENING PRAYER
every Wednesday at 5pm. If you are not on the internet, it is possible to join us over the telephone – please contact us in advance if you would like to do that.

DAILY HOPE
is a free phone line for hymns, prayers and reflections – 0800 804 8044

FOR THOSE IN NEED
Holy Trinity Church Hall is providing emergency food for families and individuals in need at this time. To register for this, please use the form on the front page of our website For more information, please contact 07719 960541 or blaconactionteam@gmail.com


HELPLINES
Cheshire West and Chester council have a helpline to advise or support vulnerable adults who need assistance with food, medicines or social contact (open 8am to 7pm everyday) call 0300 123 7031 or email enquiries@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER
We would love to hear from you! Do share with us any photos, poems, verses, pictures, songs, reflections, to keep in touch and encourage the rest of us.

PRAYING FOR BLACON
During lockdown, Louise and Tina are taking our exercise particularly along those streets we are praying for each week. Do join us in praying for those residents. This week we pray for: Dyserth Road, Cadnant Close, Aberdaron Drive & Cemlyn Close.