Keep in Touch: 14th June 2020

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14 June 2020

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

‘Go rather to the lost …’ (Matthew 10.6)

I didn’t last long as ‘a Rep.’ It wasn’t that I disliked driving from place to place meeting new people – far from it. No, it was more the reality that Reps need to know where they are going, and I was continuously lost. I soon realised that my map-reading talents weren’t up to much and that my sense of direction was hopeless! It didn’t take long for my employers to realise that a Rep who was lost for significant periods every working day was too expensive to maintain.

Jesus in today’s gospel reading sees the crowds as ‘harassed and helpless’ – a good phrase to summarise how I often felt on the road. Harassed by yet another timed appointment missed, and helpless because I couldn’t make sense of the directions and there wasn’t anyone around to ask. (Let’s pass over the one occasion when it turned out I was deliberately sent in the wrong direction by a joker!) Being lost is always uncomfortable or worse.
Like so many, I have been restricted to the confines of my own house for the last twelve weeks. Familiarity and habit make that experience the very opposite of being lost. I am absolutely ‘at home.’ And yet, strangely, I find that very repetition of a familiar round of rooms and actions peculiarly disorientating. Other people have told me that they feel surprisingly imprisoned, as though they are under house arrest. They admit that the joys of home are somehow tarnished by the experience. That which was a secure joy in earlier times starts to take on unwelcome associations.

It’s almost as if we have become ‘lost at home’ – a seemingly absurd contradiction, and yet strangely accurate. A tiny glimpse, perhaps, into the world of those who through illnesses like dementia, do experience the once familiar as fearfully strange. Our flinching a matter of imagination rather than the actual, but real enough for all that.
Jesus sends his disciples to the lost. Notice that in the sending he tells them not to go to unfamiliar communities (named as the places of Gentiles and Samaritans). The ‘house of Israel,’ that is the place they think of as ‘home,’ is where they are to offer the reassurance that the ‘kingdom of heaven is near.’ The ‘harassed and helpless’ who look like flustered sheep without any guiding shepherd are ‘us,’ not ‘them.’ The point is reinforced by how many disciples are sent: twelve is the number of the tribes of Israel and these who are sent to the lost are a continuation of that inheritance. And the authority with which they are sent is Jesus’ own.

In this I find great reassurance: here is recognition of our lostness and disorientation; here is news of liberation – the cure that Christ’s authority brings; here is the conviction that the kingdom of heaven remains near, even when we’re lost at home. This is a word for our times as we strive to open what was locked down and to restore our sense of direction.

Christopher Burkett


READINGS for the First Sunday after Trinity (Year A)

Exodus 19.2-8a
Psalm 100 
Romans 5.1-8
Matthew 9.35 - 10.8 [9-23]

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: Rawson Road, Nant Peris, Plas Dinas, Glyn Garth and Sealand Road.

OPENING THE CHURCH
From Monday, with restrictions, the church is able to hold funeral services again, though other forms of service are sadly still not possible. We also do not know when the Outreach Project will be able to restart. However, as you may have heard, churches are now allowed to open for private prayer. Unfortunately, at Holy Trinity, it looks like we are unable to offer this, as we do not have enough people able to oversee the church opening. If you would like to assist to make that possible, please contact Tina.