Notice Sheet for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, 29th March 2020

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Passiontide begins

And the clocks go forward one hour!

Revd Jane Bartlett

Lent is a time when we are encouraged to give things up, but none of us expected to have to give up quite so much! It’s especially sad not to be able to worship together at this time, when we really need mutual support and the strength that comes with our faith. You will have seen in the news that as an additional measure we now have to keep all church buildings closed to limit the spread of the infection.

The good news is that we’re still able to connect with each other electronically and on the telephone. The steering committee had its first ever meeting this week using the online platform Zoom. We were able to both talk to each other and see each other and it was very successful. It gave us the opportunity to plan how we can best be church in these new and strange circumstances. We are very grateful to Adam Tinworth who is re-vamping our church website. Do check it regularly to see our latest updates.

Our Facebook page is another good way to stay in touch, and you can view this too on the church’s website.

It is so important that we all stay in touch in the next few weeks, especially for those of us who might be self-isolating at home alone. It can be a long day when you have no one with you. Who can I telephone today? - That is an excellent question for us to ask ourselves each morning and then to act on it by giving someone a ring. I know lots of us are already making regular calls to each other and forming networks of support. Do let me know if you are concerned about anyone and I will get in touch with them.

We will also be putting together ShoreLine, our parish magazine for April. You will be able to view this on our website. We will print and post a few paper copies to those people who are not online. If you know of anyone from the church who does not have the internet I would be very grateful if you can let me know.

A few of our younger members of the congregation, and their family members, have offered to become Covid 19 Community Volunteers, helping with prescription delivery, posting letters and small emergency shops. We’ve divided the parish into two geographical areas, and we also have a few volunteers to look after our congregation members who live outside of the parish. Let me know if you need any practical help, or Jonathan Marshall on 07889 171817.

What can I do to help?

Lots of us are asking this question right now, and it’s heartening to see that more than half a million people have volunteered to help with the NHS. Something we can all do is pray for each other and our world at this time. Those who are self-isolating can become our powerhouse of prayer, holding before God the needs of our world and of the people we know and love. Here is a prayer that has been written for us by the Church of England.

A prayer for all those affected by coronavirus

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen.

And another prayer (by Father Richard Rohr)

O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings.

Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world at this time of crisis.

Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God.

 Amen.

Alternatives to worship in Church

As you may know, there will be national services each Sunday on both television and radio for you to listen to or watch. There are also many services online and we are signposting you to some of these on our website and Facebook page. I will be grappling with technology and hopefully putting a short service up for Sunday and Tuesday on our Facebook page and website, together with sermons. These certainly won’t win any Oscars for their production values, but they will be a way to keep us rooted in the love of God and enable us to keep in touch with the body of Christ which is the Church of the Good Shepherd.

You will find our readings for this week below, for you to download.

Daisy Durrant our family and youth co-ordinator is working on some special 10 o’clock Rock sessions to be posted online.


Parish Centre

The Parish Centre is now closed until further notice. Phone calls and e-mails will still be answered.

Meetings and events

All church meetings and get-togethers are cancelled until further notice. This includes the annual art exhibition at St Mary’s. This year’s theme “for the beauty of the earth” will be used in 2021 – planning ahead! The good news is that the children’s art competition for the Adur Art Trail which was due to be exhibited in the Church of the Good Shepherd will now take place online. All activities have ceased in the hall, and Pebbles, the pre-school, will finish 3rd April.

Shoreham Food Bank

The food bank is still receiving very generous food donations, but their website shows their current food needs and where donations can be dropped off.

If you are under 70 and would be able to volunteer as home delivery drivers or food bag packers, please e-mail info@shoreham.foodbank.org.uk .


Prayer Requests

If you have a particular prayer request during these difficult weeks, please let me know by email or text.


Supporting the Church of the Good Shepherd

The Church of the Good Shepherd is fully involved in helping to support ourcongregation and community during the Covid 19 crisis, and will continue to do so for as long as needed. With services not being held, this means of course that collections are not being taken and income we would normally receive from our hall lettings has ceased. 

If you usually place your offering in the collection plate, and only if your circumstances allow it, you might consider setting up a Standing Order. Details can be obtained by contacting our treasurer Barry Ward

If circumstances are such that you need to reduce your standing order please advise your bank direct and let Barry know. Any increase would be very welcome, if you were able to do so, and would help us plug the gap!

If you have envelopes for your collection and want to continue to contribute, please keep them at home until restrictions are lifted.

It is your donations and our hall income which enable us to serve our community and maintain the church as we seek to live the Gospel.

Please help us to continue to do so. Thank you.


Finally

God bless you and stay well. Please do not hesitate to ring or email if it would help you to talk to someone: Rev’d Jane Bartlett 

Rev’d Jane 

Downloads

Readings for 29th March 2020

Downloadable Weekly Notice Sheet

Where the church really is.