Easter Message from our Chaplain Sylvia Rice-Oxley
My Dear Friends,
A Happy and blessed Easter to you all
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.
Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable---
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
As often was the case, St Paul was reminding a Church, the Church at Phillippi in Greece – to keep their eyes fixed on Jesus. In these difficult times of fear and isolation, of sickness and hardship we can feel far from God, and it is in searching for God that we know him to be with us. Sometimes the most we can do is watch Songs of Praise, or listen to a hymn, or a service on the radio, and that is all that is required to meet with God, regularly and when we feel at our worst.
In these days I am heartened to the depths of my soul by the hard work and self-sacrifice of the young men and women who are staffing our hospitals and other vital services. People risking their own lives to help and save others. St Paul reminds us to find the good around us – whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable, think about such things. It is as we rejoice in the good that our hearts are lifted to the one who loves us most.
Even though our churches are closed, The Church of God is not dead. We are praying and hoping with thanksgiving within the situation we find ourselves. We are being Thankful for all the good we see. And at Eastertime we remember especially that the Cross was when God conquered evil – so God will conquer this evil virus, We remember the resurrection of Christ showing that the time will come when all will be well and the peace of God will reign supreme.
May our homes be beacons of hope, peace and joy this Eastertime as we rejoice in all things and face the future with Jesus Christ in our hearts.
Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed. Hallelujah!
With love and prayers for you and your families. Sylvia
This has been for Mothers’ Union, a time of unexpected experiences and learning combined with a time of great sadness. The letter which arrived from Mary Sumner House telling of the impact of COVID 19 and the immediate need for £1million pounds with an Appeal in order to survive was a huge shock! Lead Staff have taken a salary cut and all staff have agreed to a wage free break at Easter! It was also the beginning of our Zoom experience, meeting through our laptops , computers and smart phones to talk and discuss the problems. Jill, Peterborough Diocesan President hosted our first Zoom meeting for Eastern County Cluster group. Three of us managed to get online having a chat with pictures coming and going, one attempted to phone in with limited success, whilst Jill sat staring at herself for ten minutes. However she organized a 2nd meeting which was very successful.
I had got in touch with our Treasurer to look at our finances in the first year in St Peter’s re;- the Appeal and was horrified to see we had a small deficit. I had certainly hoped to break even. I then organized a Zoom meeting to discuss our own financial state having sent the information online to all the Trustees. The 1st Zoom attempt, I sat staring at myself for 10 minutes not a pretty sight, especially with the overdue hair cut!!! I had apparently not changed the time zone and we were booked on Pacific Canadian time! Another meeting was set for 3pm and 7 Trustees including Phil, our treasurer, appeared on the screen and having waved to those we could see we got down to the serious business of discussing the Financial situation we find ourselves in. Phil having studied the accounts for 2019 stated we would only survive for another two years if we continued to draw on our reserves of £12,000 in order to pay the bills. The sad decision was taken that we, like many of our fellow Dioceses, could no longer afford paid staff. We also discussed the office, cancelled the NEWS magazine for the rest of the year, retained the IMPC subs in the main account in agreement with Patsy and have asked that no more stock be order from MUe until things are back to normal. I was then left with the difficult task of writing to Sue. She was very aware of the situation and was not surprised although saddened. Sue will continue to work from home until the end of June having had 12 week’s notice. She has suggested when we are allowed to do so, that Phil and I meet her in the office for handover of documents, keys etc and brief discussion of what need to be done. There are many savings we can and will make. We are Zooming again next Wednesday 8th April when Cluster leaders have been invited to join us. We ask for your prayers for that meeting at 10am. We will come through this and be stronger. Already we have found a way to meet without travel expenses and parking problems. We still need to decide on our contribution to MSH which would have to come from our Reserves. Yesterday we had a Zoom meeting with 54 Britain & Ireland DP’s and staff from MSH requested to answer questions about the appeal which was very useful
On 29th April 2020 the Families Worldwide will be posted to you all directly if your address is on the data base. MSH apologises in advance should these be sent to ex-members or recently deceased but there is no way DP’s like myself could get these out to you all by July even if Restrictions are lifted. I will be sent any surplus magazines for those who do not receive theirs. Please contact me for extras. There will also be a letter asking if you, as members, would like to contribute to the Appeal to help the present situation at MSH. If you would like to contribute there will be instructions with an addressed envelope to Telebank who are supporting and managing the appeal.
Please note there will be no Summer Appeal, Harvest appeal or Raffle in 2020. All contributions will be used for the MSH Appeal. Thank you to those who supported the Make a Mothers’ Day.
If you are holding excess money in Branch or Cluster accounts you might consider after consulting with you members to send a donation to our Lincoln Diocese Mothers’ Union to ensure we are better financed for next year. All donations gratefully received.
Any donations can be sent to Elizabeth Page 3,Sycamore Close, Bourne PE10 9RS, or to the office where we will pick them up when the present restrictions are lifted Mothers Union Centre, St Peter at Gowts Church Hall. Sibthorpe Street, Lincoln LN5 7SH. Or by bank transfer Sort Code 09 01 53 . Account number 23195482
MORE THAN BONNETS AND BUNNIES
(Easter thoughts from Canon David Staples MU Chaplain for Aveland)
I had a “Senior Moment” when I was 52. I got the hymns wrong. So in one of my churches we sang “ Jesus Christ is Risen today” on the Sunday before Lent. It was my typing error. But it was a fortunate mistake because it reminded us that every Sunday- the first day of the week- is a commemoration of Our Lord’s resurrection.
As I write we are restricted by the Covid-19 pandemic. But we look ahead in eager expectation to the time when things get back to normal. Easter is something which should make us look in joyful anticipation to the resumption of the Church’s corporate celebration in its weekly public worship. Present isolation reminds us of how we need each other- the comfort, support, help and personal affirmation we need as individual human beings. We need each other too on the life of the Church, the “ Body of Christ”
When I was a boy I used to see children walking to Church from all directions on Sundays. They had Bibles clasped in their hands, and I wanted to know what they were doing and why they were heading to the local church. The answers are Amongst the reasons why I celebrate the 59th anniversary of my ordination this year.
It is important that all the Lord’s People should meet at the Lord’s Table on the Lord’s Day. It is a powerful expression of corporate witness in the community. By doing it we proclaim the uniquely Good News of our Crucified and Risen Lord. I look ahead in hope of the Easter Gospel.
“Alleluiah, Christ is Risen”. “He is risen indeed Alleluiah”
There will be a regular newsletter so please send any contributions, prayers, poems thoughts etc to firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Page Diocesan President