If, for whatever reason you are unable to get to Church during the pandemic – services are going to made available on-line – in the same way in which daily devotions are available.
The organiser of the devotions writes “Over the weekend I started to plan to offer Sunday services via the Daily Devotions email list. I’m pleased to say that I had lots of offers of help and from this Sunday we will send out, at 10am, a service in both written and audio format. This will have the feel of a service on the radio in our style with well known URC people leading worship. There will be prayers and hymns to join in with as we pray together. There will also be, from time to time, a chance to share bread and wine together – the first such opportunity will be on Easter Sunday.
Anyone who has email and would like to avail themselves of this form of worship to sign up to receive the Devotions Emails. They simply need to go to devotions.urg.org.uk and register their e-mail address.
On Sunday Michael Hopkins, clerk of Assembly, will lead worship for us with a focus on Mothering Sunday. On 29th March, Phil Nevard, a minister in the South Western Synod, will lead worship for us. I will lead worship for us on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Our General Secretary elect, John Bradbury, will lead Easter Sunday worship. Nicola Furley Smith, our new Secretary for ministries, will lead worship for us for Low Sunday. After that Fleur Houston, Nigel Uden, Sarah Moore, Richard Church, Janet Sutton Webb, Neil Thorogood and Ruth Browning will all prepare worship for us. We will hear a variety of voices in each service and we will create opportunities for you to join in as well.
We hope that these are a useful resource for the church.
Jan Berry has written this prayer which, I think, is a useful one to pray at the moment:
God our refuge,
we seek your protection.
Protect the vulnerable from illness:
those who are old and frail,
weakened by years and struggle;
those who care for others,
expending energy and love;
those for whom inability to work
means hardship and poverty.
from the greed and suspicion
which snatches at our own security
stock-piling and panic-buying
that deprives others of the necessities of life.
Protect us from the shortsightedness
which sees the germ in our own eyes
and ignores the plagues
of hunger, war and violence
that take so many lives each day.
Protect us from the isolation
that leads to loneliness and despair
denying the interconnectedness
that links us with one another.
God our refuge
in our panic and fear
may we not lose sight of our common humanity
that makes us one people in you. Amen.