Thoughts from the Vicarage 34

Good morning on this delightful Ascension day morning!

Belinda church mouse reminds me that Ascension Day, a key day in the life of the Church marks the end of the Easter Season and the beginning of preparation for the joy of Pentecost. There will be a service 8.15 pm this evening https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19/livestream/ and for those who would like to join me I will be praying the short office of Compline after that service at 9.15

Yesterday’s thoughts were quite musical – Belinda got into the act as she pondered the Double Diapason stop on the organ!

We even sang Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise at Morning Prayer today – with our microphones muted! It was most joyful. There’s something about singing together, even virtually that was really special and added to worship.

Really helpful ideas from our own correspondents …

  • from Eastbury ‘Count your Blessings! I have been so inspired by someone who has posted everyday something that they are thankful for, that I decided to do the same. I will do this for 40 days – seems like a very biblical number! In difficult times, it’s good to remember how blessed we really are……’
  • acknowledge emotions and feelings sit with them they will pass… trust that they will pass, sit with nature, the world or whatever you want
  • from Lambourn ‘I try and give thanks every single day for positive things and the more I do that, the more they increase’ … ‘I wish I could transmit the joy of my walk this morning’…
  • from East Garston ‘I light a candle and try to focus on the good things that I have around me – even though I am alone’ … ‘it brings a sense of peace at the end of the day …
  • All in all … and I’m speaking for myself it’s easy to forget all the good stuff we learnt back at the beginning of the lockdown . . remember the key things you put in place, make time for yourself, call someone every day, buy a something for the food banks or put a bit of money towards those who need it, pray, read, walk … If you have a faith let God be God – you just get on with the daily job of being you!

My any questions – any answers?

A week or so ago I shared this quote ‘The Corona virus is something of great ugliness but humankind may bring something of great beauty from it.’ and then asked a few questions which prompted many of us to reflect. Here are some more responses.

Where do you see the helpers in this?

They are absolute angels and totally unselfish… they’re local, amongst our communities as well as being ‘out there’ … we are so blessed here with road volunteers to support people like me who are isolating … everywhere, keyworkers of course but so many who appear to be looking left and right to see if there is anything they can do to help… .we all need to feel that we can help.

What do you grieve?

Those who have lost their lives due to the virus. All those still suffering and those bereaved. Missing our family desperately and not knowing when we can hug them all again and I never realised how much I would miss going to church. for lost opportunities to meet socially … I’m a huge gatherer of people into my home & love to cook for friends and have dinner parties.

What have you lost?

Time with the family … so many hugs … seeing people face to face… being able to give physical comfort to those who are sad . . .putting an arm round my friend when she lost her husband.

Who has helped you?

God … my husband … online church services … my partner, my vicar, Zoom prayer group, telephone and Zoom calls with my closest friends and family.

One correspondent wrote and I quote directly ‘I also want to add that I think the church is definitely not absent from society and that I think people are turning towards the church for help and support because they need something to believe in’.

Do look at Sunday’s address from Martyn Percy…

it was excellent if you missed it or you’d like to listen to him again, https://vimeo.com/showcase/6945351

And finally …

Thank you to the giftee of these beautiful garden flowers given to share with my ‘Vicar on Tour’ visitors yesterday.

Leaving them here for all to enjoy!

God bless

Julie