St Thomas News - 6th January 2021
A belated 'happy new year' by email! I hope that, in spite of the grim news, you have been aware of God's light and love through the Christmas period. Romans 12.12 is a good verse for us to contemplate in these days: "rejoice in our confident hope; be patient in trouble; keep on praying!" Perhaps a verse of the week video will follow...
I must confess that I'm still getting my head around how we can best support one another and worship the Lord together during this new lockdown. As you may well know, this time churches are permitted to continue to hold services in the building - but of course to do so has risks attached. My hope is that we can continue with our small midweek communion services as I know they are highly valued by some people. But for this week, the communion service is put on hold. So:
- No communion service tomorrow (this allows for us to tidy away from the Christmas festival, but more importantly to give time to hear any more guidelines from the Church of England in terms of conducting services) - we are looking into continuing our communion services next week, depending on any further guidance and developments. Pre-booking will be essential, and regulations (mask wearing, no interaction between different households) will be fully adhered to.
I want to emphasize that there is no expectation that you attend these services should they go ahead - please only consider coming if you feel that these communion services are vitally important to your own wellbeing. While we will do all we can to ensure that these services are 'covid safe' there is of course always some risk when coming into a building with others.
- Continued livestream services on Sundays at 10.30: For most of us, these online services have been the main focus of our unity together as a whole church. They will continue on Facebook, YouTube and Zoom (ID 631 970 6882) - joining the Zoom call is a good way to see some other people's faces, so please feel free! We'll aim for these services to come more from the vicarage/people's homes, and where there are people in church we'll ensure it's limited to as few people as possible for the time being.
Of course, we really hope and pray that these tighter restrictions will only be for a few weeks, but having talked with the PCC standing committee, we do feel that we need to act wisely with the interests of our local neighbours and indeed our local hospital at the forefront at this time.
Again, over these next couple of months in particular, there is a real need for us to be looking out for one another - keeping in contact, letting others know if you are in need, encouraging one another. I know our small groups are a lifeline for many people: please do get in touch if you are not in a (virtual) group, but would like to be. You might also think about whether there are people you could go for a walk with - perhaps even a 'prayer walk' around the parish.
Our Tuesday morning Zoom prayer meeting will be carrying on - praying especially for the church and local community. Please feel to join on Tuesday at 9am (Zoom 631 970 6882).
Other ideas welcome!
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)