Coronavirus- latest news
Instructions for St Paul’s Zoom Meetings :
Welcome to St Paul’s Livestream Service.
We would love for as many as people as possible to be able to join us for our times of worship and prayer. These are as follows:
Sundays at 10.30am Family Service - our main church gathering
(this will occasionally include Communion)
Tuesday at 11.30am Holy Communion
Mon – Fri at 9am Morning Prayer (a chance to read scripture and pray together)
To access these meetings you need to do this through Zoom Cloud Meetings. This is best done on a Wi-Fi connection. There are two main ways to join us:
If you are using a laptop or desktop then then Join the Zoom Meeting by clicking on the link https://us04web.zoom.us/j/5322847502 5 mins before the start time (or paste the link in your URL on your web-browser – this is the white box at the top of your screen).
2. Smart Phone or Tablet
If you are using a smart phone or tablet then you will need to download the Zoom Cloud Meetings App from your usual app store. This is free.
Then click the Join icon on the App at the top 5 mins before the start time and then type the following number into the Meeting ID box: 532 284 7502
Let us know if you are struggling to join us on-line or if you need help with anything else.
Thursday 19th March 2020
Here we are again! Yesterday we focussed on a number of practicalities about how we respond to the current situation. Today we have a few more of these, but primarily we want to urge and encourage you to focus first on Jesus. In Colossians we read: "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things". There are several ways that we can do this:
1. By Reading the Bible
Today we'd like to offer a few verses for you to meditate on (please see below). You might also like to write them out and put them round your house. This is particularly important as it reminds us to put our trust in God alone and that His truth bring us confidence and hope.
2. By Praying
Prayer is the greatest way by which we reach out to God and invite Him to enter into our circumstances. We can be real with Him about our emotions and expect that He will bring change to our outlook and situation. Here is a simple prayer that you might like to use on a daily basis:
In these uncertain times I pray for your hand over our world. I pray that you will sustain the faith of your church while services are cancelled. Please empower your people to resist the greed and panic of the public, and instead pour out what we have for others and find the joy in each day. It is easy to think only of ourselves in these crazy times, but show us how to live your way right now. I pray that you will protect the physical and mental health of your people, especially students with cancelled exams. May we trust that you bring good from bad, and that when this all blows over we will be exactly where you want us to be. I ask your blessing over those who will find self isolation difficult or lonely, and that you will be a comfort to them. Whatever our opinions on the current government, we thank you that they are taking action against this disease. Please give them wisdom and compassion to make the right judgements for our country.
In Jesus' mighty name, Amen.
3. Praise & Worship
Praise helps to acknowledge who God is, what He has done and therefore what He will do again. It lifts our spirits and causes faith to rise. We would suggest playing worship CDs or listening to Christian playlists on Youtube or Spotify. Some suggestions of worship leaders whose songs we sing at St Paul's are: Bethel Music, Hillsong Worship, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Worship Central. On Spotify you can also search for CCLI Top 100 Worship Songs. Crank up the volume!
4. Sharing Encouragements
In a time of uncertainty and fear, let us help one another by sharing our personal stories of how God is working for good in our lives. Please do this among your own networks or send them to Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just to encourage you, every church member will soon be receiving a call from their Home Group leader or a PCC member over the next week to see how you're getting on.
We hope and pray that these suggestions are helpful in turning your focus to God at this time.
Be assured that we are thinking and praying for you.
Ian & Ruth
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You – Isaiah 26:3
Scriptures to Ponder
2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Psalm 57:1 (NASB): "Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by."
Psalm 91:5-6, 9-10: "You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent."
Psalm 5:11: "But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You."
Psalm 34:4: "I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears."
Exodus 15:26: "And He said, 'If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.'"
Psalm 55:22: "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken."
Psalm 56:3: "When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You."
Philippians 4:6-7: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Psalm 34:17: "The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles."
Psalm 46:1: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Wednesday 18th March 2020
We are experiencing an unprecedented set of circumstances and after receiving the advice on Coronavirus from the government the Archbishops and Bishops in the Church of England yesterday have suspended all acts of worship for the foreseeable future. This means we will no longer meet together for services on Sundays or Tuesdays.
Now more than ever the Church of God is called to be active in its faith. Primarily this will be in prayer. We believe that despite what we are facing, through prayer God will turn this for the good of his people and ultimately for this world. We would love us to view this not as a time of isolation, but of being 'set apart'. When we can't work, that this is a time of Sabbath and not just time off. Let us cry out to God for his intervention, protection and provision at this time.
We are currently formulating a plan with creative ways of how we can worship remotely and individually, how we can care for each other and keep in contact with each other, and how we can serve our communities at this time and offer the hope and love of God to others.
We will be recording or livestreaming a simple Sunday service including prayers and a sermon. Details about this will be available on the church website: www.stpaulsharrow.org.uk where we will also put a webpage that gives updates on our response to the coronavirus.
We are putting in place structures to support people pastorally, but please don't wait for these to be put in place – ring people and keep in contact with anyone you know who might be particularly isolated at this time. If people need further support, or become ill, please ring the church office, your home group leader or one of the clergy and let us know so we can pray and support.
For those who do not access the internet or email, we will endeavour to keep in touch by phone, and also, as far as we are able deliver some resources for prayer and bible reading.
Today we came across this useful acronym as to how in general we can respond as we seek to PASS on God's love (and not Coronavirus) to others:
PRAY…. For God's protection and for our community, nation and world
ACT… to limit the spread of the virus
SERVE… our communities and particularly those most in need
SHARE… the hope and love of God at this time
Finally can I implore all of us, but particularly those who are over 70 and others who are vulnerable, to take particular care of yourselves and to follow the advice given to observe 'social distancing' at this time- this is really important. You are all so precious and we want you to take particular care.
We will be in touch tomorrow with some ways to keep God-focussed especially during this time. However do also keep an eye on the website.
May you know God's presence and peace with you at this time.
With our love and prayers.
Ian & Ruth