Minister's letter.Read More
Thursday 9th April 2020
Today is Maundy Thursday as I sit and write to you all. It isn’t how I imagined this day to be. In fact this week is far removed from my hopes and prayers for my first Holy Week with you all. I have always tried to journey Holy Week with the daily readings set to walk each day reflecting on Jesus’ final week on earth. A conversation this morning reminded me that while I have always done that in my ministry – that’s not a true reflection of what happens in our individual churches. Last year I had the privilege of spending a full day in a primary school that I regularly took assembly in. I started the day with a school assembly then travelled round the school to each class talking about Jesus’ life and death and resurrection using items that I had bought on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land a few years ago. It was an amazing day as I shared my faith, shared the Christian story and relived over and again the life changing trip to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
This year, confined to our homes, we have been able to use the resource Holy Week tears – gathering symbols, drawing or real life, of items that represent Jesus’ final week and today & tomorrow I will use the material from the Circuit website provided by my colleagues as I recall the readings for Maundy Thursday and the death of Jesus on the cross. It is not the same walking this journey alone at home, but I hope and pray in some way as you are using materials available – you sense the fellowship of others who are also doing the same.
Tonight I will chant as reflect on the readings – a favourite Taize “Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray. Watch and pray.” You will find this here if you don’t know it: https://youtu.be/Rxj2YGflzK0 It is a chant that I have always sung in the silence of my car on the journey home from whichever church I have taken the evening service before being at home as quiet as much as I can with children in the house.
Tomorrow as I think about the death of Jesus – I will mark it by reading Matthew 27 and the reflections from the website.
As a family we will continue with Holy Week Tears until Sunday alongside this. This pausing and praying every morning at 9am has become part of our daily routine and has helped us throughout the day. I know that some of you are doing the same. Please know that you are very much in my thoughts and prayers as we continue to adapt and adjust to all that is being asked of us during the Coronavirus pandemic. From this week – Sunday materials will be posted to those who do not use the internet. This will be a brief summary sheet from me following on the material available on the Circuit website. If you would like to take responsibility for this for anyone in your church and delivering it to them on your daily walk then please let me know. It will be just one sheet of A4 along with this letter to print. I will also be producing an information sheet of where to look on the television and tune into on the radio for services available along with a new phoneline (local call costs to pay) that has been set up by the circuit to phone and hear a message from a member of the staff team.
Let us live in the joy and peace of the risen Christ. Let us work in confidence, trusting in the victory of his resurrection. Let us look for his coming as one who gives life beyond our hope.
Julie M Hulme
With love and prayers Sharon
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