St Thomas News - 12th June 2020
We've been plugging on through this lockdown period, trying to do things which will be beneficial. New things (or new versions of older things) have sprung up online, and we are grateful for feedback we've received. However, it's a weird experience being 'online' and unable to see and speak to people, so to help us gauge what's going well, what's less effective, and what we might be missing, please fill in thisshort feedback form. Just click on the link and you can answer the questions very briefly (or write an essay if you prefer!) - it will be a tremendous help to know what's proving valuable. Please go through to section 2 in order to submit - the questions for families are in section 2, but you can skip over if not relevant to you.
We'll be going live again on Sunday at 10.30. Please do join us on Facebook or YouTube. Again I'll be offering some informal words and taking bread and wine, so please respond to that at home in whatever way you find helpful. Our songs this week will be (click the link for words):
Because of God's Great Love (Dumbrocks); Rejoice (Ed Corke); chorus of I Will Worship (Kees Kraayenoord - good name); Sovereign Over Us (Aaron Keys); Here is Love
As we did two weeks ago, we'll 'gather' for a post-service chat via Zoom (ID 631 970 6882) - it was fun! Everyone's welcome to join.
We're going to go for another week of Night Prayer at 9pm on Zoom (ID 631 970 6882) - but slightly confusingly (apologies) only on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. We continue, too, with our Tuesday 9am prayer meeting on Zoom (same ID)
I have also written a prayer in response to the turbulent situation we are experiencing in the wake of George Floyd's murder. It's attached below.
Opening the Church Building
The government has confirmed that religious buildings can be opened for 'private prayer' only from Monday. Although this is not a significant part of our tradition (and my hope is very much that there has been much 'private prayer' going on while the building has been closed!), we are working towards opening the church for probably an hour a day. Once volunteers are in place, more information will follow - but when we are ready, no services are allowed, and the building will simply be open to allow people to enter (at social distance) to pray on their own.
I've begun to upload a new series of reflections, this time on the theme of 'fear'. Two so far, more to follow next week. They are on YouTube/Facebook.
Today, 6pm - Taste and See (Facebook)
Sunday, 10.30am - Sunday service (Facebook and YouTube) - followed by Zoom chat (ID 631 970 6882)
Mon, Wed, Thu, 9pm - Night Prayer, Zoom (ID 631 970 6882)
Mon, 7.30pm - Groves Gospel (Facebook)
Tues, 9am - Prayer Meeting on Zoom (ID 631 970 6882)
Wed - Groves Groceries
Wed, 6.30pm - PACT (praying against Covid-19 together) on the One Voice York Facebook page
Fri, 10.30am - Babes and Tots group (Facebook)
Rev. Alistair Rycroft
St Thomas' Church, York
"You will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on You, who trusts in You." (Isaiah 26.3)
A Prayer for these times
Lord God, ruler of the heavens and the earth, you came to us in Jesus Christ so that we might be rescued.
By your death on the cross, Lord Jesus, you bought freedom for people of every tribe and nation and language. Under you, loving Father, your precious people of every tribe and nation and language will one day rule a peace-filled earth.
It pains our hearts to see a world so divided, so many oppressed and crushed. We cry out to you for healing, for justice, for your life-giving love to flow. We have hope, because we know that you love everything you have made, and we pray that – one heart at a time – you would change your world by your grace.
We thank you, Jesus, for the power of your blood to break down the walls of hatred, and to bring peace where before there was contempt.
We repent of our own part in the brokenness and sickness of this world. We so desperately need your wisdom, Lord: peace-loving, gentle, compassionate wisdom. We pray it for ourselves and for our leaders.
And as we live in a world gasping for breath – the horror of George Floyd’s murder, unable to breathe; the tragedy of coronavirus victims, unable to breathe; the countless numbers crushed in slavery and exploitation – we fall to our knees in prayer. Holy Spirit, in this our suffocating world, please breathe your life. Come, breath of God, sweep through this land, bring life out of death and hope out of despair.
All for your glory, that the world may see your loving-kindness.