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St Mary's Church News 26 March
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The Second Letter from our Vicar
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St Mary's Church News 22nd March
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A Letter from our Vicar
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A Letter from our Vicar

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Dear Brothers and Sisters

I never thought I’d start a letter like that, but then until recently I never thought I’d ever minister under circumstances like these.

First I want to say thank you for everyone who is trying to find ways of supporting the life of the church and our community. Especially as for the time being we are going to have to find new ways of being church. Both in how we nurture our own spiritual health and in how we continue to be a good witness to the life and hope we have in Christ.

We have put together a small group who are working hard to support the life of the church and you will hear from them on a reasonably regular basis as things develop with information, and requests for help and prayer.

The prayer / worship life of St Mary’s will continue even if you cannot attend, details are with this letter.

Romans 8:28 tells us

“… all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

And I have been reflecting on how this is true for now; what we might learn or gain from this time of enforced stillness and social distancing. My first impression is there are lessons to be learned, that we are being forced to reassess what and who is important. I am not saying the present circumstances are punishment or even consequence but certainly I am seeing life in a changing way.

So for my first of what will be many thoughts I want to share with you something that was shared by someone at our Corona Virus planning meeting this week.

“Lockdown”

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes, but blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi people are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighbourhood so that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality. To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes, there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes, there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes, there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul.

Yes, there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe. Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic;

The birds are singing again, the sky is clearing, Spring is coming, and we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul and though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, Sing.

Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM

March 13th 2020

For now I offer you this simple Prayer of blessing.

Christ be with you and within you.

Christ be before you and behind you.

Christ be on your right and on your left.

Christ be above you and beneath you.

Christ be around you, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

Paul

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