St Matthews news 9 October 2020

Dear Church Family,

Prayer is so crucial to our Christian lives and this week I've been reflecting on the Lord's Prayer which is so rich, whether you pray it straight through as one prayer, or use it as a structure for extended prayer as it covers worship, praise, intercession, petition, confession, and deliverance.

Kenneth Bailey, in his book 'Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes' describes a conversation he had with a Russian woman just after the fall of communism in the former Soviet Union and asked her how she came to faith.
Was there a church in your village? No, she replied, the communists closed them all.
Did some saintly grandmother teach you the ways of God? No my family were all atheists.
Did you attend secret meetings or an underground church? No, nothing like that.
So what happened? Kenneth asked.
At funerals, she said, we were allowed to recite the Lord’s prayer. As a young child I heard those strange words and had no idea who we were talking to, what the words meant, where they came from or why we were reciting them.
When freedom came at last, I had the opportunity to search for their meaning. When you are in total darkness, the tiniest point of light is very bright. For me the Lord’s Prayer was that point of light. By the time I found its meaning, I was a Christian.
I love that story. In a week when my heart has been saddened by the report published about the failings of the safeguarding procedures in the Church of England which caused so much distress to victims of abuse, I find myself on my knees saying 'forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one'. It is only as we bring light into the darkness that healing can come, and God's Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

With love in Christ,

· All our health workers who are facing increased pressure with the rise in infections whilst trying to provide crucial non-covid related healthcare
· Those facing unemployment as the furlough scheme runs out soon

Annual Church Meeting | Sunday 18th October 11.30am

The Annual Church Meeting which was postponed from April due to the lockdown will now go ahead on Sunday 18th October at 11.30am in the church (socially distanced of course). This is the meeting, to which you are all invited, when we review and give thanks for the previous year, elect new Wardens, PCC & Deanery Synod members, update the electoral roll (membership), and look forward to the future. If you would like to have your name added to the electoral roll or put yourself or someone else forward for PCC or churchwarden, the links below will take you to the forms which you need to return (by email or post). The forms are also available in hardcopy in the welcome area or if you let us know we can post them to you.

The Week's Diary

 Sunday                     10.00am                     Sunday Online
                                     4.00pm                       Informal gathering at church 
Monday                       9.00am                       Prayer Meeting
Tuesday                      1.00pm                       Post-Alpha Course in the church
Monday & all week    8.00pm                       Prayer Meeting over Zoom
                                                                          Meeting ID: 601 586 1513
Wednesday                10.30am                      Holy Communion in the church
Sunday 18th               10.00am                     Sunday Online - family service
                                      11.30am                     Annual Church Meeting

                                        4.00pm                     Informal Gathering at the church

Sunday Services

10.00am | Sunday online 
4.00pm | Informal gathering at St Matthew's 

A lovely time of sharing together, music, prayer, and word.
Everybody welcome - socially distanced.