news, newspaper, read

Dear friends, 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve long been something of a news junkie. I love to know more about what’s going on and trying to make some sense of the world we live in. And that’s a good thing, after all I think it was John Stott who talked about being people with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. 

But there have been times in recent years with Brexit and now with this Coronavirus crisis when I’m noticing that too much news isn’t good for me. It makes me anxious and affects my mood, which in turn affects those around me. It’s also not good for my soul to focus more on the world and its worries than the God who loves me and holds me in his hand. 

So I’ve been trying to do two things to help me spiritually and mentally: 

1. Starting the day with the Bible and prayer before breakfast and no news until after breakfast. By putting God first, I put everything else into context. I have a friend in Cardiff who lives by the mantra, “No Bible, no breakfast!” That is worth considering! 

2. Limiting the amount of news I consume. I find I can’t bear the weight of the world and trying is not good for me, but I need to know what’s going on too. So my answer is moderation. I’m not delving in to how steep the epidemic graph is in various countries or what percentage of people are dying from Covid-19 in Spain, I’m finding what I need to know and leaving the rest up to God. 

This image, that I saw posted by the Ffald-y-Brenin retreat house in West Wales this week, sums it up nicely.

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With much love in Christ, 

Jonathan. 

This weeks news: 

Online Sunday Service 

This Sunday at 10:30am we’re online again as we celebrate Palm Sunday. John Rees is preaching and Jackie Laar will be leading our intercessions. Join us at https://cumnor.org/sunday-service-online/  or by telephone on 01865 920993. The service will be available by telephone until Friday lunchtime the following week. 

A service sheet and hymn words are available to download at https://cumnor.org/sunday-service-online-5th-april/ although all responses and hymn words will be displayed on screen. 

Last week’s Service online was attended by more than 130 people. 

Holy Week 

To help us all to celebrate Holy Week together, we will be uploading services on Good Friday and Easter Day, both at 10:30am. David Wenham will be preaching on Good Friday and Jonathan will be preaching on Easter Day. 

Pastoral Care 

The new pastoral care system by telephone seems to be working well. Thank you so much to all those who are working together to ensure everyone is being well cared for at this time. If you are aware of anyone who might have been overlooked, then please contact Sarah, Jonathan or Jean Pryce-Williams so we can make arrangements. 

Online Giving 

As a Parish we’re so thankful that so many of you give so generously of your time and energy and of course financially. Most of you give through direct debit or standing orders, but some still give through the collection plate. Not being able to gather together means we’re losing that income and the income from bookings at St Andrew’s. And as you know giving is an important part of discipleship. So, I wanted to let you know that you can now give online through our website or using your smartphone. Go to https://cumnor.org/online-giving/ for more details. 

Alpha Course – Online 

We will be starting an Alpha Course running entirely online on Tuesday evenings from 14th April.  

The Alpha Course is a practical introduction to the Christian faith and is great for anyone wanting to find out a bit more and think about their beliefs, or for those wanting to brush up on the basics. To take part you will need a computer that is capable of online video conferencing. For more details and to sign up see https://cumnor.org/alpha-course 

PCC

The PCC has met by email this week to consider the annual accounts for 2019, the Coronavirus Continuity Plan, and various other matters including the safeguarding action plan, our safeguarding policy and related policies.

APCM

The PCC scheduled for April 30th has been postponed. A new date, probably in September or October will be announced in due course.

Mental Health Resources

An important part of surviving difficult times like these is looking after our mental health. I want to remind you that the Church of England has produced 13 daily reflections that seek to provide hope, reassurance and comfort at this time. They have also published five tips to help tackle loneliness and isolation. 

Please pray for:

  • Those affected with the CoronaVirus
  • Those who are feeling lonely, isolated and fearful at this time 
  • The family of Peter Wren whose graveside funeral Jonathan conducted this week.
  • Key workers, including doctors and nurses, and funeral directors.

Jonathan Widdess

Vicar of Cumnor

vicar@cumnor.org