40acts update

It has been a few days since I last completed one of the 40acts things. I have been somewhat distracted with parish ministry. This week has been taken up with corona virus – by that I mean how we respond as a community. It was suggested that the church should take a lead in ensuring that the community respond to one another in love and care. On the village Facebook page many people offered to help. And then as I thought it through and got on with how we would organise it, my mind turned to Safeguarding. So I consulted with someone involved in delivering Safeguarding training as well as another Diocesan officer. We are awaiting national guidelines. It is wonderful to see people offering help. However in a conversation with the other person who would like to organise the help, we both agreed that vulnerable people could easily be exploited by the despicable. Indeed she said she had read of cases where people had taken up the offer of someone doing their shopping only to find their money stolen and no shopping done.

I then looked at what that day’s challenge was:

Act 17: Fill a need by Jenny Herrera
Two days ago you wrote a list of needs you saw around you and committed to pray. One or two of them might have kept niggling away at you during the weekend. Whatever you’ve been praying about recently, it’s time to ask: what do you want me to do about it, Lord?
“…And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”
(Acts 4:33–35 NIV)
GREEN OPTION:Spend a few moments in prayer, recalling the previous days’ suggestions for action as well as needs known personally to you. Ask God to show you what to do next.
AMBER OPTION:Have a look at acts435.org.uk and consider how you could get involved to help those in need across the UK. Making a one-off gift is simple yet life changing.
RED OPTION: Which issues stood out to you when you wrote your list? Find a local charity that cares for those problems and pursue the idea of supporting them regularly.

I have been thinking and praying about the needs around me. I am praying for calm for those who are scared. I am finding out what I can do as a church leader to help those in need and stay within the best practice of not actually putting people into more danger. I think that I have fulfilled that day’s challenge.

I haven’t looked at any other challenges as I have been too busy and life feels as though we are walking on shifting sands. Public worship in churches is no longer allowed although we can still conduct weddings and funerals. It has been suggested that I live stream worship …. a scary thought … but one I need to take seriously, Although I could point my church members to other churches that provide good worship online, is that passing the buck?

It’s my day off tomorrow and then on Friday morning I have a funeral which leaves the rest of Friday and Saturday to think of what we might do on Sunday to share online.

As I wind down this evening, in my evening prayer I was reminded of Psalm 23 – “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.” Also, that we need to trust that God will guide us through this. One of my art works from last year is a timely reminder:

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