Psalm 46 – a psalm of comfort in anxious times
To say that we are living in uncertain times is an understatement! Psalm 46 speaks into our anxiety and fear, just as it did to Israel originally. At this time, we must focus on God, who alone can deliver us in such times.
He is our refuge: ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.’ In the midst of our difficulties, God promises Himself to be our refuge, strength and help. A ‘refuge’ is a place of trust, where God promises to protect us. When the whole world is turned upside down, we can come to Him without fear.
He is our resource: ‘There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.’ Jerusalem was able to withstand enemy attack, because of the water that resourced it. For us, this is a picture of the presence of God’s Spirit, who resources us when we are under pressure. This psalm promises that God’s is with is in all our troubles on a daily basis: ‘The Lord Almighty is with us’.
He is our ruler: ‘He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ When we consider all that God has done in the past, we can see the way in which He has worked among us to provide, protect, and deliver us. We are called to ‘cease fighting’ God and surrender our lives to God. Let’s worship Him, as we let go fear and as we depend on Him in this current time of crisis.
‘A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; our helper he, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing’ (Martin Luther).
Leaders of Worship: October
|4th Oct.||10.30am||The Rev. Mike Playdon, retired United Reformed Church Minister and member of our Worship Team|
|11th Oct.||10.30am||Mrs. Irene Wren, Interim Moderator|
|18th Oct.||10.30am||The Rev. Mike Playdon|
|25th Oct.||10.30am||The Rev. Margaret Taylor, retired United Reformed Church Minister and member of our Worship Team|
We give thanks that Jackie is now able to edit our Newsletter whilst still severely limited in her mobility. Included in our prayers this month are Rae Hunter and John Henley, Dennis Jolley struggling with health problems and for Margaret as she cares for him; for David Lewis trying to get relief from his pain and Daphne helping him; for Bob and Jackie as they care for each other.
May all who mourn the loss of loved ones be comforted and those who are isolated from relatives and friends be consoled. We give thanks for the possibility to worship with each other again but assure those folk who are not able to do so that they are not forgotten by us and that we are all enfolded in God’s love and care. Please contact your Elder if would like some help and if you would like to hear a recording of our Morning Services.
May we know God ‘s support and strengthening presence in these difficult times reaching us through our communications with each other. Una
Covid-19 update received from Synod on 22nd September 2020
The Church is now required to comply with the Government Track and Trace system and the Elders are asked to issue a more detailed check in register for anyone entering the Church Building.
This will include your name, house number, postcode and contact telephone number to enable swifter NHS track and tracing.
In order to comply with data protection, all this information will be kept in the Church safe when not in use and will not be left at the front entrance during the service.
We will also be installing a QR scan for you to use if you have a smartphone. Please download the QR scan app onto your smartphone if, and when, you are able. A free one is available on Playstore. This has only been launched today (24th September) and is already experiencing difficulties! We hope to have this in place for the beginning of October, Peter, Alan, Hilary and Linda will work on this and the same system will be in place for the Community entrance for all people using the side entrance. Thank you, Hilary
News from the Elders
The Elders are very grateful to the expertise of Geetha, who has been very willing to introduce the Sunday Afternoon Praise into the comfort of our homes and those volunteers who have taken the services, read the lesson and prayers of intercession.
Geetha and Peter set up the Order of service on the screen for Sunday morning worship so that we do not handle many hymn books or sheets of paper. Geetha has added to this by working late into the night to set up the Sunday morning service via Zoom, so you are included in the congregation whilst staying safe.
You now have a variety of services to access from LURC and you can still log onto the 11am Sunday morning service from St. Andrew’s with (Castlegate) Nottingham from their website page.
The Elders are now working hard to resolve the vacant position of Church Secretary at the end of this year. As you will have read in the Church meeting minutes, we are about to appoint a Centre Manager to supervise the increasing number of Community User groups using our building. This will free up Peter and enable him to concentrate on his role as Treasurer. Alan will continue to lead the BM&F Team. We are really pleased to welcome Jackie back as editor of our Link/Newsletter and I ask you to support her by sending items for publication in promptly please,
Following international outrage after the killing of George Floyd in America, the Elders recommended, and the Church meeting agreed, to the following statement which will be posted on our Church website: –
‘As a Church, we pledge to work to remove racism, not only from our communities and places of work, but also from our hearts and minds’
We are very encouraged by the support received from you all, the emails of thanks and above all, we are pleased to hear that you feel we have provided you with a safe place to Worship. Thanks go to our Worship team and yourselves for adapting to the changes that the Elders have made to the services to comply with restrictions and for your comfort and safety.
The service on a Sunday morning is averaging 25+ and last Sunday we had 15 online in the afternoon.
You will appreciate that the Government are changing the rules to safeguard the spread of Covid 19 regularly. The Elders will always be guided by these and those from Synod. Hilary and all the Elders
Peace and Justice
The Peace and Justice Group has not met for a while but we have continued to keep ourselves informed about the local, national and international issues which should concern us. These issues include the effects of climate change, the impact of Covid 19, treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, problems of food poverty and homelessness and the worrying rise of aggressive racism. Although we have not taken any actions as a group, individuals have contributed help where we could and also signed petitions and emailed politicians. Locally members are in touch with the work of Loughborough Town of Sanctuary, Food Poverty Action Charnwood, Equality Action and Christian Aid. We hope that all church members keep in touch with the Joint Public Issues Team, representing the United Reformed, Methodist and Baptist Churches and the Church of Scotland; you can sign up to receive their news at email@example.com
If you would like more information please contact me, or one of the group.
Show Neighbourly Love and help the work of Christian Aid this Autumn
Whilst coronavirus has disrupted our lives, it also greatly impacts on vulnerable people in the countries where Christian Aid works. Not only does Christian Aid continue with its programmes delivering access to healthcare, clean water, nutritious food and safe places to call home they now have to help communities protect themselves from the virus and its economic impact of falling ill or being unable to access markets.
Love knows no distance and with a worldwide pandemic the work of Christian Aid is more important than ever. In times of crisis let’s reach out to our global neighbours and help more communities around the world overcome the challenges they face!
Across Loughborough churches there is a tradition of supporting the work of Christian Aid. In response to the world situation you are asked to support the local appeal that has been organised. Gifts can be made as an e-offering (without any fee) on the page at https://rb.gy/kmchz3 or by contacting Martyn Speight on 01509 213137.
Oppressed Christians struggling under Covid-19
Oppression and discrimination against Christians has increased during Covid, says Release International, which has launched an appeal to help Christians suffering during the pandemic. Many Christians have been abandoned because of their faith, denied food and relief aid and excluded from support systems by governments and NGOs.
Several countries have stepped up persecution against Christians. “The situation has got much worse during lockdown,” says Release International CEO Paul Robinson.
“Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on the lives of many poor Christians. In places hostile to the faith Christians are experiencing increased hardship.
“Food is now in short supply. Their cries for help are being ignored by local charities who are distributing food packages only to families of other faiths. We can’t afford to delay. These Christians need our help.”
For more information, go to: www.releaseinternational.org/covid
|Noah and the Ark – 2020 version In the year 2020, Noah was living in England when the Lord came unto him and said, “Once again, the earth has become too wicked to continue. Build another Ark and save two of every living thing. You have six months before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights.” Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his garden, but no Ark. “Noah”, He roared, “I’m about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?”|
“Forgive me Lord”, begged Noah “but things have been difficult. I needed Building Regulations approval because the Ark was over 30 square metres. I’ve been arguing with the Fire Brigade about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbours claim that I should have obtained planning permission for building the Ark in my garden because it is a development of the site even though in my opinion it is a temporary structure, but the roof is too high.
“The Local Area Access Group complained that my ramp was going to be too steep and the inside of the Ark wasn’t fully accessible. Getting the wood has been another problem. All the decent trees have Tree Preservation Orders on them and we live in a Site of Special Scientific Interest set up in order to preserve the Spotted Owl. I tried to convince them that I needed the wood to save the owls – but no go!
“When I started gathering the animals the RSPCA sued me for intending to confine wild animals without the proper paperwork. The County Council, the Environment Agency and the Rivers Authority have ruled that I can’t build the Ark until they’ve conducted an Environmental Impact Study on your proposed flood. The Trade Unions insist that I can’t use my sons to build the Ark; I can only employ members of the Shipbuilding and Allied Trades union. Finally, Customs and Excise have seized all my assets, claiming I am going to attempt to leave the country illegally with endangered species.
“So, forgive me Lord, but it will take me at least another ten years to finish this Ark.”
Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky. “No need for me to destroy the world after all,” observed God. “The government has the matter already in hand.”
(Owing to the interesting times we live in, please be aware that things can change)
|Thu. 1st||7.00pm||Book Club – Zoom meeting|
|Sun. 4th||10.30am 4.00pm||Morning Worship – Rev. Mike Playdon Sunday Afternoon Praise – Zoom meeting|
|Mon. 5th||2.30pm||Elders – Zoom meeting|
|Tue. 6th||7.30pm||Loughborough Churches Partnership AGM|
|Sat. 10th||Synod – Zoom meeting– you can log on to this|
|Sun. 11th||10.30am 4.00pm||Morning Worship with Holy Communion – Mrs Irene Wren Sunday Afternoon Praise – Zoom meeting|
|11-18 October Week of Prayer for World Peace|
|Tue. 13th||10.30am||Bible Study Group – Zoom meeting|
|Sun. 18th||10.30am 4.00pm||Morning Worship – Rev. Mike Playdon Sunday Afternoon Praise – Zoom meeting|
|18-25 October One World Week|
|Tue. 20th||6.30pm||Pilgrimage of Prayer for World Peace|
|Sun. 25th||10.30am 4.00pm||Morning Worship – Rev. Margaret Taylor Sunday Afternoon Praise – Zoom meeting Elder’s election last date for returning voting papers|
|Tue. 27th||10.30am||Bible Study Group – Zoom meeting|
Any pastoral concerns during this time, please contact Una and for all other matters, Peter.
18th November 7pm Zoom Church Meeting – Election of Elders and Officers
Copy for the November Newsletter should reach Jackie
by 20th October, please firstname.lastname@example.org