Parish Update - 13th May 2020
Yes, being an ordained minister can often feel like the contents of this cassock – you need to be prepared for every eventuality! The lockdown cassock contains a number of tools I never thought I would have needed up until mid-March. Is there anything that you think should be there but is missing?
Those of us who joined together last Tuesday evening for the first of our Coronavirus Conversations had an interesting time exploring the question, ‘Where is God in Coronavirus?’ Our conversation ranged over questions including whether God might somehow be the cause of this crisis, if the virus is some form of ‘built-in’ mechanism in our world which has been triggered by our actions, and what the meaning of omnipotence might mean when talking about God. We certainly did not come to any firm conclusions, but this was not the purpose of the conversation. It was simply good to be able to explore some ideas.
There was a feeling towards the end of our time together that this particular crisis is simply a random event caused by an unfortunate set of circumstances. It is difficult, if not impossible, to say that God is somehow behind everything that has led to our current situation. The presence of God, however, is certainly to be found in the ways in which we respond to the pandemic. As Christians, what is drawing our attention? What do we feel that God is calling us to do?
Here, our conversation focused around the need to change and the reality that we should not simply revert to the way we lived our lives before the crisis. We began to discuss the idea that as a parish, we should try somehow to provoke a debate within the wider community. As a consequence of our experiences over the past two months, how do we want Cheam to change? What should we all be doing differently? This may well be an idea that we look to develop in the coming weeks, as a process of trying to engage the wider community. This might not be specifically about faith, but it is about transformation for the better. And if you have been listening to my sermons in recent weeks, you will realise that one of my main themes is that the Gospel is all about radical transformation.
Any ideas about taking this forward would be very welcome!
We are not people of fear: we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God, giving and loving,
wherever we are, whatever it costs,
for as long as it takes, wherever you call us.
(Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference)
With love and prayers to you all,
The Reverend Dr Nicholas Peacock
Team Rector, Cheam Team Ministry
Worship This Week
The following services will be live-streamed this week on YouTube:
11am Wednesday 12th May Eucharist
9.30am Sunday 17th May Eucharist for the Feast of St Dunstan (Sixth Sunday of Easter) – Streamed from St Dunstan’s Church
7.30pm Thursday 21st May Eucharist for the Ascension
The Sunday service will be followed by a virtual coffee on Zoom, returning to the usual logon details:
Meeting ID: 884 0628 5452
· Sunday 24th May: No streamed services from Cheam (see below)
· 9.30am Sunday 31st May: Pentecost
· 9.30am Sunday 21st June: St Alban’s Day Festival Eucharist
Sunday 24th May
We will not be streaming a service on Sunday 24th May. We recommend the following services:
· 9.00am Church of England Service (on their website)
· 9.30am A Eucharist with the Bishop of Southwark from Bishop’s House (on Twitter)
· 11.00am Eucharist at Southwark Cathedral (on Facebook)
Alternatively, please click here for list of other churches in the Diocese offering streamed services.
We know that there are many of you who would like us to pray for people and situations as part of our regular worship. At St Dunstan’s, we usually have a list for people to write down the names of particular people to pray for. I am sure that there are similar lists at St Oswald’s and St Alban’s. For obvious reasons, we have been unable to keep this going and we have not set up an alternative.
If you would like us to pray for someone or something, please email the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Louise will compile a weekly prayer list. For reasons of privacy, we will use first names only and the person for whom you are asking us to pray should be happy for you to do this.
We will be holding another service for children over Zoom at 10.30am on Sunday 14th June. These services will follow material from the Diddy Disciples programme and are aimed at children up to the age of 10 years old, although older children, parents and carers are welcome as well!
For safeguarding purposes, the Zoom login details for this service cannot be published. If you would like your child to join the service, please email the parish office and your details will be forwarded on to the Sunday School team. The login details can then be sent to you.
Please make sure that an adult is present during the service.
Distributing this Newsletter
We are very aware that some people do not have access to electronic communication. If you know someone who would like a paper copy of the weekly newsletter, please do print a copy and deliver it to them. Without access to the Parish Office, we are not in a position to do a mass mail. Equally, deliveries around Cheam are very sporadic at the moment.
Parish Bingo Evenings
The Bingo Evening on Saturday 8th May was a great success. We raised £272 for the parish and had a highly entertaining time together. A huge thank you to Roger and Lucy Brice for organising it.
The next Bingo Evening is on Saturday 23rd May at 7.00pm. If you would like to register, the deadline is Sunday 17thMay. Please email Lucy Brice – email@example.com.
Parish Discussion Group
The present pandemic has presented us with a unique set of circumstances and challenges. We held a first conversation on 5th May in which we considered where God might be within the pandemic. There is one more sessions to come. Each session consists of a time of conversation (over a glass of wine or your own preferred drink) and will end with a service of Compline (Night Prayer).
The remaining session is as follows:
· 8pm Tuesday 19th May Experiencing Church In Isolation
More information can be found on the website by clicking here.
If you would like to take part, please email Nick (firstname.lastname@example.org). The joining details for Zoom will then be sent on to you.
Lent Lunches (St Dunstan’s Only)
We managed to hold three of our Lent Lunches before our buildings were closed. These gatherings were intended to begin to open up important questions and issues about the future at St Dunstan’s.
We are keen to organise further meetings on Zoom for those who were either due to take part in the final lunch or had not signed up for a lunch but would like to contribute towards this process. If you are interested, please email Nick (email@example.com).
If anyone would like to be contacted, please call or email the Parish Office. We are happy to offer practical advice (where possible) or simply have a friendly chat. PLEASE DO NOT FEEL ALONE.