Frederick Street URC
A Message from Hilary
Our thanks to all who have sent Christmas wishes to Alan and myself via email, ecards and Christmas cards etc. We are so fortunate that we now have such a wide variety of ways of communicating and keeping in contact with friends and family wherever they are in the world. It is so important to exchange news with each other.
The new technology which has recently been installed in the Church is a prime example of how the Sunday morning message can be zoomed to those of you who are not able to attend the service in person. A big thank you to all who have helped with this project and for your patience whilst the teething problems have been overcome.
The Afternoon Praise services via zoom have also provided worship at a different time, on many dark Sunday afternoons. This time of worship has given strength, comfort and hope to those who are feeling lost and lonely. We all miss our ‘get togethers’ over a coffee at Church and this is a time when we can join in as a family and exchange news and views.
The first joint service via zoom link by the 3 churches on December 20th was extremely well supported. This United Carol service was led by Andrew Lomax and the 3 churches choir and supported by volunteers from all the churches. How amazing it was to experience all the various talents and share in combined worship of 120 people from all parts of the country and abroad. This was so uplifting after some difficult and emotional days when a lot of us had been struggling to come to terms with our Christmas family plans being changed so abruptly in order to stay safe and well. Let us hope that this is the first of many combined services, with a sharing of fellowship and praise.
If you missed the service or would like to see it again, go to: https://www.facebook.com/TrinityMethodistChurchCentre/ scroll down to videos, press, “see all” and find the appropriate service.
We have now passed the shortest day and look forward to longer, brighter ones which will help to fill us with hope and encouragement. As we look forward to the beginning of a new year, (which we all know will be a slow and difficult one), we give thanks to our brilliant medical teams for the assurance that very soon we will be able to receive the Covid 19 vaccine.
We know that it will be a long time before we can resume our day-to-day lifestyle, so we keep our thoughts firmly on the light and hope which we have celebrated during our journey through Advent.
All good wishes and blessings for a safe 2021.
News from the Elders
All the Elders were present when they Zoomed for their monthly meeting on Monday 7th December. The meeting was chaired by Tony who chose as part of his devotions Matthew 28 v 20 (end): ‘Look, I am with you for each and every day until the completion of the age.’
We thought about our members and adherents who have particular concerns, including Rae Hunter who is due to go into hospital soon for an operation.
Tony thanked the outgoing Serving Elders – Raied Estefan, Alan and Hilary Roythorne and Aline Williams for all their hard work over the last three years. They will be greatly missed but those remaining feel very grateful to Hilary for being willing to carry on as Church Secretary.
Hilary thanked Geetha and Tony for producing the CDs of the church organ playing all the carols in the Bethlehem Carol Sheet.
Contractors are presently working in church installing new sound and technical equipment which hopefully will give us a greatly improved audio-visual system.
Preparations are in hand by the Loughborough Churches Partnership for an United Service at 6.30pm on Sunday January 24th which will be online. Further details of how to access this service will be sent out nearer the time.
Planning for the 3 choirs Carol Service at 4pm on December 20th and the 3 churches Christmas Day Service is well in hand. Dilys
How many more waves?
As the days are dark, and winter still stretches ahead, many of us find the prospect of more restrictions for months to come even harder than when we first went into lockdown.
After nine months of coronavirus, we are emotionally drained. We are financially drained. We are lonely, depressed, frightened, and facing deep uncertainty, from job losses to health problems to relationship breakdown. We are running out of steam, and the virus is still going strong.
There is a strong parallel in all this with the ancient book of Job and his experience of loss and pain. Like Job, we are discovering that we are not always entitled to health, wealth, and happiness; and like Job our suffering inexplicably goes on and on. Like the irritating moralising of Job’s comforters, the constant critique of the media only seems to make things worse. And, like Job, our minds are incapable of totally grasping the meaning of all this suffering. We need hope.
Job was deprived of everything, yet even in his despair he never lost his belief that God was there. Occasionally an indestructible hope burst forth like a ray of light in the darkness of his pain. “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.’ In the intensity of his suffering, the greatness of the Almighty eclipsed the problem. That is the revelation we need. The path to rekindling true hope lies in the possibility of focusing on the immensity of God. Greater is He that is in us than the pandemic that is in the world.
Silver light across the garden
Outstretched arms of silver trees
Frozen shafts of silver moonlight
Fall on blackened crispy leaves
Early sunrise brings the morning
With its palest light so clear
Falling on the misty garden
Lighting up a brand New Year.