This Sunday, 22nd of March, there is a call for the church to join together in a National Day of Prayer. At 7pm on Sunday, Christians everywhere will be lighting candles in the windows of their homes as a visible symbol of Jesus, the light of the world.
In this rapidly evolving situation, there is, very understandably, a great deal of uncertainty, fear and anxiety. In a time of such uncertainty, we must remember what is certain: that God is on the throne, he is ultimately in control, and we can totally trust him through this valley. In a time of such fear and anxiety, we are assured of the power of love over fear (1 John 4:18), and that the peace which transcends understanding can overcome every anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7).
Let us be a non-anxious presence as we step into the opportunity to be salt and light in fresh ways, bringing hope to those around us as we reach out with love.
And let us humble ourselves and pray that God’s kingdom would come, his will would be done, and that he would heal our land (1 Chronicles 7:14).
We are encouraging Vineyard churches across the UK and Ireland to join with this day of prayer and action today.
With our love and prayers at this challenging time. John & Debby Wright National Directors, Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland
You may find it helpful to have prayer points to follow, and you can download our suggestions here…
As we all make radical changes to our behaviour with others it’s important to remember how vital it is to keep our social relationships close. Thankfully, most of us have the technology to help with this. Here’s a couple of articles from Psychology Today (USA) that you might find encouraging:
Our banner photo could be seen as being a bit cheesy, especially at a time of unprecedented uncertainty and worry. But we’ve put it up there as it does reflect part of the reality of the ‘here and now’ of life in Colchester’: the pic was taken yesterday from Greenstead slopes, looking towards the town centre.
It’s easy at this time to be totally consumed by the latest news reports about the epidemic, and the effect on body, mind and soul can be very negative.
So while we do not in any way minimise the seriousness of this situation, it’s also vitally important that we all take steps to nurture our own mental health to maintain psychological and physical resilience over the coming months. This is important both for ourselves and for those we care about or are caring for.
We can start with keeping a focus on ‘counting our blessings’ – often there are many more than we acknowledge from day-to-day. The first blessing to think of might be the lengthening and sunnier days, and the signs of spring all around.
Very soon, we’ll be posting here more thoughts and links for helping to develop a resilient response to the Coronavirus situation. Take care!
Colchester Vineyard is increasing precautions to ensure the health of our community, especially the most vulnerable.
Accordingly, our small group gatherings will be cancelled for the time being, owing to a risk of transmission of infection – understood to be higher where groups are together for a while in domestic spaces.
We’ll be staying in contact with each other by phone and WhatsApp to provide support and prayer during this difficult time.
Do be aware of those in your own street or neighbourhood that may be particularly vulnerable or have chosen to self-isolate. Get in contact by phone or with a note through their door to check they’re okay and to offer any help that might be needed.
Please pray for:
For wisdom for all leaders and policy-makers during this time. For healthcare workers and teams as they care for the sick. For those who are lonely, fearful and isolated.
On Wednesday 4 March, it’s Armchair Retreat, a time of quiet centring when we can learn to allow room in our heads for silence and peace. We have simple centring exercises to help this work, and all is done in the context of Jesus, ‘Emanuel’ — God with us.
This is suitable for all, whether you’re a Jesus follower or not, or whether you’re a mindful starter or not. If you just want some quiet space and an encouraging environment, while learning more about mindful practice, why not give it a try? 10:00 – 12:00, with coffee and time to chat. Call 01206 622712 for more info and venue details.
This coming Sunday 23 February you’re invited to Vineyard Brunch, 11:00 at The Playhouse pub, St John’s Street Colchester. For all believers in conviviality! Grub’s on us. Call 01206 622712 for more info.