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St John’s in the Pandemic – week 10

So did you tune in live to our streamed Sunday service on Facebook at 1030 on Sunday?  Or, like the Minister, did you arrive on the website too late to join the live streaming on Facebook? Being still relatively technological dinosaurs we preferred to use the “On demand” service on the website. 

The Facebook streaming was only an initial experiment last Sunday to see how it worked but it was clear from the number of people who did tune in and left comments that this is well worth doing every Sunday.  So from now on you have a choice: either go to the St John’s Facebook Page (via the website if you wish) at around 10:25am on Sunday so that you have a few minutes to “greet” everyone else there before the service begins and know that you are sharing in online worship with friends whose names you can see; OR join the service on the church website, as you have been doing, whenever you choose to do so.  

Whichever, or whenever, you choose to tune in to our services we will be glad to “see” you and know that you are with us.  Come join us again this Sunday, from 1000 on demand on the website or live from 1025 on Facebook.

Here is a copy of Lesley Clare’s talk on Christian Aid and the Minister’s sermon from last Sunday.

And the younger members of our Church Family are all going strong.  Charlie and Charlotte are keeping in touch with our children and youth through the technology of zoom and making sure they have plenty of activities to keep them involved in life at St John’s.   And our Fun Club is soldiering on under Yvonne’s enthusiastic guidance.  We will shortly be announcing some further provisions for different areas of our youth and children.  So watch this space as they say!

And how about some heartening news.  Research from Tearfund has shown that prayer is more common than many would think, with just under half (44%) of UK adults saying that they pray, and one in twenty (5%) saying they have started praying during the lockdown. Daily data from Google for 95 countries corroborates this increased interest, as searches for prayer are at their highest levels ever recorded.  In addition, a quarter (24%) of UK adults say they have watched or listened to a religious service since lockdown, 5% of whom say they have never been to church before. Some churches are seeing double, sometimes triple, the number of people watching their Sunday meetings online that would normally attend in person.  They may be only numbers from a relatively small sample of the population but here at St John’s we can certainly corroborate that last statistic.

We are delighted to announce that Annette Mace has accepted the nomination from Church Members to become one of our Elders without Portfolio.  Please pray for her as she takes up her new role within our Eldership.

Have you shared your symbols of Faith, Hope and Love by putting them on our LOCK DOWN OPEN UP fence?  This can be as simple as tying a ribbon to the fence or as creative as the banners that Tina, our Church Secretary, has already put up.  Help us share our message of Faith, Hope and Love with our local community.

We are all invited to join with the Churches Together in Orpington in a day of Prayer.  An online sign up form has been created for you to register your interest which you can access with the following link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040B4CACAF2AAAFC1-dayofprayer9.   Orpington and our nation will be blessed as congregations from around Orpington join together in prayer.

CHURCH FAMILY NEWS

There may be a Pandemic out there keeping us all at home but there are still birthdays that need to be celebrated.  Scarlett Hattley will be blowing out the ten candles on her cake on 22 May.  And Alfred Wood, Chris Falconer’s Dad, reached his century not out on Saturday last, 16 May.  

Congratulations to both Scarlett and Alfred and to anyone else out there who has a birthday in the coming week. 

However Coronavirus continues to affect our friends.  John Pearn has recently lost both his parents to the virus so please keep him and Jacqueline in your prayers this week.

And in our wider Church Family it has just been announced that following interviews on Friday, the Revd Bridget Banks has been offered and has accepted the role of Moderator of Southern Synod. Bridget is currently the minister at Crawley United Reformed Church. She will take up the post on 1st September 2020.   We wish Bridget well as she takes up this role full time and we offer her our prayers as she prepares to head up the Synod.

Please pass on this message to anyone you know who either is not on our email list or indeed to any neighbours or friends who need comfort and support at this worrying time.  And if you feel the need for specific Prayers to be said for yourself, your loved ones or the community please remember you can request these through the website, your pastoral visitor or by simply texting a message to 07856 851045.

Take care and stay safe

Jon

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