Thoughts from the Vicarage 67

Dear Friends of the Valley

Thought for The Day

I am wondering if any of you heard Revd Dr Sam Wells and his Thought for The Day on Monday morning? You may link to it here.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08x59nw

He spoke of the exasperation, fear, fury and resignation that people may have felt as news of No 2 Lockdown was officially announced. He continued to share of how people have faced more extreme challenges and cited Terry Waite and his four-year captivity and of St Paul as a prisoner in Ancient Rome.

The former resolved to not look at the past with regret, to not succumb to self pity in the present or to escape into a fantasy future. St Paul recognised what was most important to him – his relationship with God and with each other. And how did St Paul live out his time as a prisoner? He wrote letters to his friends and nurtured his relationship with God. He embraced the fragility of the human condition and pondered the one relationship that is more enduring than all the others.

It made me think, how am I going to spend this lock down? And what about you?

You may not be surprised to know that I have a few suggestions!

Would you like to volunteer?

There are a number of elderly people who have relied upon The George for a meal during these past months. The George is closing and staff, like Alex are having a well-deserved break. So, they will not be providing that service.

Are you in a position to help?

Would you be able to cook a simple dish, cook an extra portion to share with someone who is alone and would certainly appreciate it? If so and if you are interested in helping out please contact myself and we can have a chat.

Would you be able to keep in touch regularly with those who you may know to be particularly isolated and those who have asked us to do so? If you are aware of anyone in any particular need or who is in any way at risk, please speak to me immediately.

Would you like to join in with Archbishops Rowan and Stephen

Archbishops Rowan and Stephen have asked us to join in and pray for our nation each day. They’ve suggested 6pm each day – but if you can’t do it then chose another daily time and commit to it. There is a really helpful two-sided leaflet attached to this email and more copies will be available in each church and on the Vicarage Gate!

Join in Sunday Worship

Church at Home from Oxford Diocese at 10 o’clock This Remembrance Sunday will see Lambourn’s director of music, Stephen and daughter, Susan joining forces in two beautiful pieces of music as they help lead worship. The link is:
https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19-2/livestream/

Come along to coffee via Zoom

on Sunday from 11.10 beginning this Sunday but please make your own and bring your own biscuits!

Morning Prayer and/or Compline via Zoom

Try Joining in with Morning Prayer and/or Compline via Zoom – no prior experience needed and if you need Zoom help please ask! We have two wonderfully precious praying communities who would love to welcome you! We ‘meet’ at 8.30am and 8.30pm with conversation and chat in the morning following the praying of the daily office.

Big questions of life, death, meaning and truth

Explore more about the big questions of life, death, meaning and truth … in a small group (zoom). Amelia, recently baptised is thinking about Confirmation and if you are interested in being confirmed or learning more please be in touch.

And, I hear you asking what about me in no 2 lockdown?

I will intentionally spend more time in prayer and will be reading the blog of a friend of mine who is sharing resources and writing about the Rule of Saint Augustine – Nourished by Our Roots. The rule was followed by the Canons of our Cathedral in Oxford from the early 12th century. I hope it will be a way of feeding deeply from the roots of our history. If you would like to join me here is the link https://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/blog/nourished-our-roots-rule-saint-augustine-day-one

And finally …

Let’s continue to Be kind. Be generous. Be full of hopeful expectation.

Please pray for one another as I pray for you – the voice of prayer is never silent. We will be praying for our villages, our nation and the world daily. For those who are sick and suffering, for healthcare workers and frontline staff and for all those who ask for our prayers. May God’s love and grace be shown to each of you in new and unexpected ways during the difficult weeks ahead.

With love and every blessing

Julie