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COVID-19 Briefing 17/11

From ‘Them and Us’ to ‘Us and Us’…
 
It was a theme that I took up in my rather grandly entitled ‘Presidential Address’ at Diocesan Synod last Saturday: how this Corona-coaster of a year had provided many opportunities for churches, communities and individuals to come together out of a sense of common experience, shared vision and mutual need.
 
‘Them and us’, I explained, can sometimes be a helpful narrative, providing a proper sense of loyalty and commitment, a sense of belonging. It’s important that we’re fully committed to our families, our neighbourhoods, our church congregations if we’re truly to live out our social responsibilities and to exercise our Christian discipleship. But the problem comes, I said, when we forget that those helpful little ‘Them and Us’s are part of a bigger picture of belonging:
 
‘that my little church is part of the ‘One holy catholic and apostolic Church’ stretched across the world and across the centuries; that my neighbourhood is inextricably connected with other neighbourhoods, not least through the complexities of the world’s ecology, of global communications, of international trade, and, of course, of infectious diseases; that Republicans and Democrats are all loyal Americans; that Christians and those of all faiths and none are created by the same God and made in his image’.
 
And perhaps it was the Collect for last week which brought all this to mind, in its focus on God’s great plan of reconciliation for the cosmos, and on a time when ‘Them and Us’ will be no more:
 
Almighty Father,
whose will is to restore all things
in your beloved Son, the King of all:
govern the hearts and minds of those in authority,
and bring the families of the nations,
divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin,
to be subject to his just and gentle rule;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
 

The full transcript of the Presidential Address.

Critical Reading

Diocesan resources to help you locally until Epiphany 2021

We have had a number of conversations with our clergy and lay ministers this week and we know this is an extremely challenging time. We asked what support you would like from us and what support you wouldn’t. To confirm what we are going to offer this year:

  1. We will continue to share Bishops’ Sermons based on lectionary readings each week (this will definitely carry on to and will include Epiphany – Jan 3rd)
  2. We will continue to host practical workshops (Wednesday webinars) to share ideas on how to survive and thrive in this lockdown period and beyond
  3. We will also create a stand alone all age pre-recorded service for you for the 27th December – we hope that this will encourage a number of you to take a well earned rest. Our intention is that this will be available from mid December for your planning purposes.  If you prefer something ‘classic’ that is not all-age, you may wish to point people to join the livestream from the cathedral’s service of Holy Eucharist.
  4. The Cathedral live-streamed services of 9 Lessons and Carols and their midnight service will be open to all digitally. Links will be provided by the end of this month.
  5. The bishops will be providing an additional Christmas sermon for use in Christmas services. This will be available by mid December.
  6. The bishops will also be providing a 2 minute Christmas greeting (which may be particularly useful if you are doing your own sermon). Available mid December.

Year of Children and Young People – 2021

In 2021, we are going to focus on goal 3 of Transforming Church, Transforming Lives.   The Mission Team and the Diocesan Education Team have worked closely over the last 10 months to develop an approach that is transformative for local churches. This was put to Diocesan Synod on Saturday and was given overwhelming approval. 

You can find the paper here: https://bit.ly/YCYP2021 

The vision for the year is “For our church communities so to welcome the participation of children, young people and their families, that they want to join with us in following Jesus and growing in faith.” 

Many of you are worried about the effects of Covid on children & youth in your church.  This focus is timely for that reason – we aren’t looking to add an additional programme on your schedule but we want to work with you to find ways to grow your youth and children’s ministry in these complex times. 

#SafeguardingAdultsWeek

This week National #SafeguardingAdultsWeek is taking place Monday 16- Sunday 22 November. For more information visit https://www.surreysab.org.uk and look out for daily tweets from both local and national organizations sharing information. If you are able pls retweet @SurreySAB to raise awareness. 

For your information 

Working towards Net Zero carbon in the diocese

Earlier in the year, Alison Moulden took over from Lesley Crawley as our Diocesan Environment Officer (see https://www.cofeguildford.org.uk/making-disciples/improving-church-buildings/the-environment), soon after General Synod declared that the global climate emergency was a crisis for God’s creation and a fundamental injustice. 

The motion called on parts of the Church of England to work to achieve year on year reductions in emissions and to urgently examine what would be required to reach net zero emissions by 2030.  Diocesan Synod passed a similar motion on Saturday, with the instruction to set up a cross-departmental Net Zero Working Group to draw up a plan of action to achieve such a target.  Alison and Peter Harwood will work with the Diocesan Environment Group, Church House Guildford and the Bishop’s Leadership team to bring this about.

Making sure payments are identifiable

A big thank you to all the parishes who have shifted from sending us cheques to making payments electronically, we really appreciate it.  The DBF has been receiving an increasing number of unidentified payments with no remittance advice to say who they are from (these tend to be one-off or individual payments rather than Standing Orders, which tend to have a reference). Please would you ensure that any payments are identified clearly and remittance advice is sent through to remittances@cofeguildford.org.uk so the Finance Team can allocate them correctly. Thank you!

Clergy Study Day 2021

Our next Clergy Study day after the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) on 30th November,  is 27th January from 9.30-1pm on zoom.  The focus will be on “Growing our Children and Youth Ministry” with contributions from Revd Dr Mark Griffiths and Yvonne Morris.  Mark teaches at St Pardarn’s Institute, has a doctorate in Child Evangelism and Church Growth but comes with many years’ experience as a vicar.  Yvonne Morris is the Children’s and Families Ministry Adviser for the Diocese of Oxford.  
 

From time to time, we send out specific invitations by email – please put @cofeguildford.org.uk in your safe senders list.

#PrayerForTheNation further resources

You can sign up to daily reflections and video content here

The Wintershall Nativity this Christmas

Experience the real Christmas story, as you walk through the beautiful grounds of the Wintershall Estate. Join Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem, meet the Shepherds watching their sheep, spot the Angel as you climb the hill and help the Wise Men find the star. This is a truly unique and magical experience for families.

With pre-booked timeslots, and following Covid 19 guidelines, immerse yourselves in the Nativity, while staying safe. The walk should take 1 ½ hours for a mile long walk through fields and woods across the hills at Wintershall.  There is free parking and hot drinks and refreshments will be available. Tickets are £35 per family group of up to 6 people.

Tickets are now on sale: https://www.wintershall.org.uk/nativity-winter-walk

Sunday Sermon

Bishop Jo preaches on ‘Power and Vulnerability’ – from Sunday’s gospel text for Christ the King, Matthew 25:31-46.

You can find out more about the upcoming webinars on our website or if you missed a session, you can catch up via our YouTube channel

Online and all age services
(note now in the evening) Wednesday 18th November – 7.30pm-8.30pm – Online and all age services
With special guests Nick and Becky Drake from Gas Street Church in Birmingham.
 

Intergenerational worship is tough in normal times – how does one lead children and adults in worship? Online it can be even harder to get right. This is a workshop for creative ideas and learning from people who are doing it well.
 

Mental health webinar 

Missed last weeks webinars? Catch up here

An opportunity to connect with our Link Diocese in Viborg, Denmark.
A Creative Christmas, how do we cope with Lockdown and the fast approaching Christmas festivals. Catch up on this practical workshop of ideas. 

For the latest National guidance click here
For the latest Diocesan guidance click here
Next briefing will be issued on 24th November 2020

The post COVID-19 Briefing 17/11 appeared first on The Parish of Capel and Ockley.

St John The Baptist Church, Capel is a small friendly village church in the centre of the village. We are part of the Surrey Weald Team of parishes close to the south Surrey border with West Sussex. The other parishes in the team are St Peter’s, Newdigate, and St Mary Magdelene, South Holmwood. Our church offers a variety of worship, both separate and as part of the Weald Team.

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