Caremongering, Mothering Sunday and more

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It’s been an overwhelming week and we’ve all been crunching an enormous amount of new information, and figuring out what our lives look like under the new restrictions. Today I saw the word ‘caremongering’: the massive outbreak of care and kindness that we are seeing all over the world. This is the antidote to some of the bleak scenes in our supermarkets.
I’m also seeing a massive outpouring of creativity from church leaders all over the world, as we think about how to resource each other and work together in uncharted waters. The Spirit is at work mightily, so do keep praying for his power, love and healing.
At SMOB we have a list of people who are self-isolating, those who are ill and those who can help. Our staff are working our usual hours and are available to help too. Although our church building is not open most of the time, we are opening it where necessary as a hub to drop things in or pick things up.
It’s a terrible time for anyone suffering from anxiety. I’ve found it helpful to limit my exposure to the news and to spend time praying and reading the Bible, just to reset myself. With so much of life changing, it’s important to acknowledge the mental and spiritual effect this has, and to bring it to God.
Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday and we have chocolate for all our mums. This will be available at the York Road and Mount Hermon Road doors to church from 10am–6pm, so do pick up a bar for the mum in your life, and do drop bars off for any other mums you know.
It’s also a national day of prayer – you can find lots of prayers and resources here. Put a lit candle in your window at 7pm and let’s stand together in prayer.
We have an experimental live stream of our service at 10.30am via Facebook. Our team is working hard to make this work, but please bear with us as glitches are inevitable! We are blessed to have a sermon from Bishop Andrew which definitely works (YouTube link coming tomorrow), and he will be licensing our new Associate Vicar Bekah privately tomorrow too. If you connect up, do get in touch!
Dave, Tina and Kate have been in touch with everyone in their children’s and youth groups to provide resources and ways of connecting. If you would like to be included in any of these, please let us know via the office.
If you know of people who aren’t online, let the office know and we can make sure they get resources on paper.
We have such opportunities to be God’s transforming people in our parish: to love Jesus; to serve and tell others; to be community. Keep praying and caremongering and the Spirit will do the rest!

Mark Wallace, 21/03/2020