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Chaplain Reflections for COVID-19

Reflections during COVID-19 - School Chaplain

The Easter holidays will feel naturally strange this year.  Many families have already been away from work and school, at home with children and families, so the extra two weeks at home may not feel such a novelty.  During the two-week "break" it will be essential that we all follow the government's guidelines to stay indoors, maintain and respect social distancing, and only leave the house for essential travel, or to your place of employment if a key worker.

And yet Easter is traditionally a time of great celebration.  The country goes crazy for chocolate eggs and cartoon rabbits, and if you've given up anything for Lent, you get to treat yourself once again.  For Christians, it is a time to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, and the return of light to a dark world.  It is a strange time indeed to think such celebratory things.

This Easter, it will be particularly important to remember the great message of this season in the Christian Calendar.  The Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, teaches that love is stronger than hate, and that goodness always triumphs over evil.  These will be especially relevant as we spend more time with our families, perhaps getting to know them better, as we show our respect for the key workers fighting to keep us safe and healthy, and as we all do our bit to pull our communities through a troubled time.  Our compassion for others is what will keep us truly strong.

The Diocese of London has suggested some activities you can try at home to keep a solid prayer life and spiritual life as we socially distance.  These are linked on the right.

Streamed services during social distancing

The Church of England, and the Diocese of London, have directed that all churches be closed  during the pandemic crisis.    It is vitally important for all of us that we respect this directive, however difficult we may find it to be separated from our houses of public worship.  Of course, God's work ministry still goes on, and His "church" can be found wherever people are able to worship: even if that is in front of a computer screen.  Many churches are finding ways of leading their communities in virtual worship.
 

Our link church, Hackney Church, are live-streaming their 11 o clock Sunday service from their website, here:

https://hackney.church/everywhere/

Hackney Church's Easter service, live-streamed on April 12th, can be found here:
 
 

Similarly, I will be leading worship from my own church, St John's Church Stratford, every Sunday at 12pm. This will be streamed on Facebook Life from the St Johns E15 Facebook page.  You will need a Facebook account to access the stream, but will not need to be a member of the particular page.

https://www.facebook.com/stjohnse15/

The East London Mosque, on Whitechapel Road, also streams most of its prayers and talks on its Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/eastlondonmosque

I hope you and your families stay safe and well, with peace.

Richard Aubrey, Chaplain.

 

 

An Urswick Easter Prayer

Lord God

We thank you that is times of struggle, we find opportunities for calm.

In times of anger we are shown how we can forgive.

In times of sickness we are given the means to heal.

This Easter-time, let all members of the Urswick family be inspired by this to bring healing and comfort to those who are anxious, upset, lonely, or ill today. We give thanks to those who help and care for them: help us to be an encourage to them. 

Bring rest, hope and security to all of us, our friends and our family.

May all who suffer be led from pain to peace.

Above all, as we look to our lives and the future, this Easter-time, strengthen our faith and help us to grow in the life which does not end, in love and friendship with you, which lasts for ever; 

Through your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen