Dedham and Ardleigh Parishes
26 March 2020
We are sending this out to everyone who receives the CC and/ or is in the directory. Please forward this to others and ask them to email the office if they would like to receive it weekly email@example.com
Thought for the week…
it is for your good that I am going away… John 16 verse 7
One of the strangest moments in the disciples’ life with Jesus might have been that conversation where he is trying to talk to them about his impending death and then says, “It is to your advantage that I go away.” At that moment I’m sure they could not have imagined how that could possibly be true. To them, the physical presence of Jesus right there with them had been their greatest good; but they would soon learn differently.
For us as Christians, one of the most confounding things about this pandemic is the need to practice social distancing and almost complete withdrawal into our own homes. And yet, to refrain from gathering and hugging and passing the peace and ministering with the sign of the cross goes against everything we know and practice. The cancellation of group gatherings where we can be physically, emotionally and spiritually present with one another along with being prohibited from participating in our normal in-person connections with family and friends is excruciatingly difficult, in part because it feels unloving.
And that is why this statement from Jesus is oddly helpful and encouraging. It points out that there are moments when it IS loving to “go away”—and clearly this is one of them. In our current situation, to stay away is as an expression of love and care for others as much (if not more) as it is protection for ourselves; seeing this “staying away” as a loving gesture helps somehow. Henri Nouwen comments, “In Jesus’ absence a new and more intimate presence became possible, a presence which nurtured and sustained and created the desire to see him again.” My guess is that once we make it through this crisis, we will never again take for granted the ability to gather, the privilege of being together body and soul. Our desire to be together again will be strong and sweet and will nurture something new among us. For more read https://transformingcenter.org/2020/03/that-the-works-of-god-might-be-revealed/
Worship Services are now on line – subscribe to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtpxpLp854CdAKzTdnbWuQw
Orders of service are available https://www.dedham-and-ardleigh-parishes.org.uk/Groups/337938/Service_Resources.aspx
Morning AND Evening Prayer live stream We’ll also be experimenting with live stream via this channel for Morning Prayer at 9am and Evening Prayer at 5pm Monday to Thursday.
Resources for families
Amanda Watts is contactable on firstname.lastname@example.org and has lots of great ideas to help you share this extra family time together.
We are also posting resources on our website
But start by checking out this excellent website
Some of you have been asking how do I continue to give while the churches are closed and we are self isolating?
1. Many of you have Standing orders with Dedham or Ardleigh PCC. That is the easiest way for us to receive money – if you would like to set up a SO please download a form
2. Post a cheque while out for your daily exercise to The Parishes Office, Assembly Rooms, High Street, Dedham CO7 6HJ – payable to Dedham Parochial Church Council or Ardleigh Parochial Church Council
3. Make a payment on line
Dedham Parish Church Sort code: 20-22-67 A/C no: 00297879
Ardleigh Parochial Church Council Sort Code: 20-22-67
Account Number: 20073466
Remember the rest of the world
and especially poorer countries who do not have our health care systems.
You can give to the Tearfund appeal. https://www.tearfund.org/
Finally - If I can be of any help to you do get in touch
Romans 15:13, NIV: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
For those of you with children at home we know you will be working especially hard to home school… keep their spirits up… and stay sane….!