For the duration of the COVID-19 shutdown our normal worship services have been paused and replaced by two online services each Sunday. All face to face group activities are paused as well.
Text: Jeremiah 33:1-12
As my Pastoral-care practice, I develop a sensory garden wherever I’m in ministry placement. This garden brightens the neighborhood and becomes therapeutic to those who experience emotions of grief and hurt and above-all who carry with them the experience of trauma and the associated problems of stress related anxiety and depression, especially brightens those who struggle with mental health disabilities. There is a growing scientific evidence that ‘green space’ can have impact on mental health.
The downtrodden people of Israel and Judah found fresh hope in the Prophet Jeremiah’s vision of their beautiful restoration by God:
‘The torn down city and the desolated people will be glad; I will bring health and healing to my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will bring Judah and Israel back from exile and captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. This city will bring me renown joy, praise, and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all good things, I do for it. They will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it”.
In striking contrast to their experience of trauma and the associated problems of stress related anxiety and depression as a result of their life of exile and captivity, the downtrodden people of Israel and Judah found fresh hope and changed fortunes in the prophet Jeremiah’s vision of their beautiful restoration by God.
No matter our contextual situation of Covid-19 Pandemic, we too can rejoice in the beautiful ways our Redeeming Lord restores us with fresh hope through his intervention and through nature’s therapeutic. When we feel frustrated with the problems of stress, anxiety and depression, reflecting on our Lord’s glory and splendor will bolster us. Jeremiah encouraged those who were experiencing turmoil situation prophesying: “In this land of destruction and desolation there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest and feed their flocks”.
Can restoration rekindle our hope? Prophet Jeremiah said: ‘Yes’. So does our hope and life-giving Risen Lord. “The torn down city and the desolated people will be glad; I will bring health and healing to it. I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security”. “Because of our Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassion never fails”. So, Jeremiah stammered out: “I’ve hope”. (Lamentations 3:21-22). Let us be encouraged that when our splendor is gone, God’s compassion never fails. They are new every morning. Even in our gloomy situations, God’s great faithfulness and compassionate love shines through.
Rev Bertram Mather
Pastoral Care Minister
Over these next few weeks at church we will hear from the Bible league, BCA, and CMS. Our church will be a part of a BCA Spring lunch on Tuesday 27th. Also Hilton form the Bible league and the Jacksons from CMS will be sharing at our upcoming Sundays beginning November 1.
BCA Spring Lunch
Our church is a part of a BCA Zoom this next Tuesday, normally we would host a Spring Lunch, this year it is via an digital platform, but none the less important to support this important Mission.
There’s plenty of space!
It has been a joy to start our outdoor services these last few weeks. After so many months apart, it has been really special to meet together and pray together. Now we are allowed to have 20 people (+ one clergy member) there is plenty of space!
Services vary and are flexible depending on the mix of people in any one group, so it won’t feel too weird! And it is also turning out to be a lovely way to have a little “cross pollination” from our different services, a further COVID opportunity of the chance to get to know each other a little better. Yes you need a hat, sometimes an umbrella, and your Bible, but it’s worth it. I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again – Please come if you can! Call one of the ministry team for more details and to find your place.
The Traditional Service for Sunday will be available at 9am that day and the Family Service will be available at 11am. Services will then be available for catch up throughout the following week.
This Sunday’s readings: 2 Chronicles 7:11-16; Matthew 6:5-15. Trev Bell will be preaching.
Live Zoom meeting before Family Service
Join us again this Sunday on zoom before the 11am Family Service goes live. Join in for some time together, kid’s content and a chance to pray for each other. Starts at 10:40am.
The button below will take you to the Zoom meeting. The meeting ID is: 727 285 0168 and the password: church
Are you aware of specific needs?
As we seek to shine the love of God into our community through this difficult season, please be on the lookout for new opportunities you notice or discover. Feel free to chat with the ministry team about your ideas and opportunities. You might have the great idea, but we are all in this together to love and serve and bear witness so let’s help one another to be outward looking and see how God may use us to bless our community
Prayer at Home
The prayer guide is updated every week and is available under the Prayer at Home menu tab on the HT website. Please use them as much as possible in your prayer life.