We are thankful for the leadership and the hard work that they have put in to support our congregations
Phone our prayer line 24/7 : 0333 335 5282
Phone our prayer line 24/7 : 0333 335 5282
Here is a space to record your reflections, as you prayerfully and courageously let go of your preconceived expectations and allow God to speak to us afresh in this time.
Some questions that may help you reflect;
We are thankful for the leadership and the hard work that they have put in to support our congregations
How much going to church brings structure and reflection to start my week! Every day is much the same otherwise. I’ve been going to the churchyard at St Paul’s three or more days a week to survey butterflies. I believe now that the churchyard is St Paul’s second great asset after the church building. Nearly all my visits have coincided with mourners visiting their loved one’s grave on a regular basis to place flowers or plants on them. Unfortunately, I don’t think many visit the church. Water is provided free from two outside taps. (I wonder if we could place a weather-proof box to ask for contributions?)
Discovered that God’s presence is everywhere. Been reminded of Job, that he suffered (like those losing loved ones at this time), others thought he had brought sin upon himself, however this was not so. Good beautiful people have lost their lives at this time. Yet Job continued to recognise the majesty of God.
Also thought about the climate and animals. How Covid-19 probably transmitted from animals to humans, may be as a result of poor hygiene and illegal treatment/marketing. There is some element of justice in that humans all over the world are now social distancing, yet when I walk I see rabbits enjoying the spring together, the birds nesting and flying where they please. So the animals are now free in movement, however humans are not.
My faith has grown in the context of prayer – in the absence of the church an its people
I now have people to pray with, in a less formal way than Sunday Service. The zoom is good when it works
That God is so much bigger than the “church” stuff of Sunday’s and meetings. He is with us in all things at all times
My faith is in believing in our Lord Jesus Christ and He is always with me wherever I am
I have been reminded of the importance of rhythm to a prayer life. The tradition of prayer and liturgy stretching back centuries and that will sustain us through these different times. I have been rediscovering, each day, the presence of God, source of all being, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. That my faith is rooted in the awareness of the presence of God in each moment.
That God really is there with me in the hard times and the joys. I knew it in my head, but being removed from services, buildings and meetings has reestablished this in my heart.
The busyness of life impacts on everything including the spiritual. Staying home has enabled time and space. Even my sleep has improved.
This is a placeholding reflection so that you can see what your reflection will look like when you have shared it.
This time has reminded me of how wonderful it is to have the assurance that, even though I am unable to enjoy human companionship, I am never alone. I feel sad for those who are facing this time without that assurance.
Seeing the friends whose contact details I failed to write down
I am looking forward to sharing prayer, silence, ritual, sacrament and worship with others. To being physically present with each other and in front of God. To being open to surprise encounters, to the unknown, to being vulnerable outside of the controlled nature of the home environment.
People and relationships at church – just getting back together again
I am looking forward to seeing people and being able to talk to them face to face. And especially to coffee and conversation after Praying Together on Thursday mornings!
I hope wonderful possibilities for when we are back together come bubbling up for you. This is what your reflection will look like once it is shared.
HUGS and more home groups where people can build relationships built on Christ
It will be so good to be back together worshipping as a Church family and enjoying fellowship with each other
Exploring all the church communities within the Stroud Team, and meeting lots of new and interesting people
Seeing and being with christian people again and worshiping together. Familiar faces, smiles. Other people’s stories, experiences and sharing.
Not sure about this – it will be good celebrate together – but at the moment feel quite distant from the church – although not God and Jesus
Seeing people who go to church and catching up with their news! Celebrating events in the church year in person.
Although some of us have been communicating by phone or text I look forward to belonging to the church community again.
Physical touch! I realise as we are not allowed to touch one another, how much that is part of my communication.
This is perhaps the hardest question because it is an anxious and nagging issue coming back together. I miss people but I have liked being able to totally focus on the service while in isolation.
Let’s be courageous – don’t be limited by preconceived expectations. This is what your reflection will look like once it is shared.
I want to hold on to the rhythm of daily prayer, of the time spent with the liturgy and scripture of our tradition, of getting to speak to people through the week and not just on Sundays. I want to hold on to the ‘slowing down’. I want to hold on to attending fewer meetings and even fewer meetings in person.
It would be good to build on the more innovative ways of worship that have been developing: perhaps services that people who don’t come regularly to church, but have been following them on-line, might be attracted to?
The caring and compassion that has been so real and evident and a continuation of our Zoom prayer group, that has been such a blessing.
Inner peace. LIstening. Less distracted and more focused and able to hear God’s message. More expanse of time. Greater contentment and feelings of enough, without rushing into the next event or place. Appreciating and making use of what is already available. Appreciating basic necessities and food more.
Neighbourly love – the unity created by that love: seen in clapping the NHS on Thursday nights, and shopping done for other people. Is this the new normal?
Little groups of people praying
Taking part in our active prayer circle at the Church of the Holy Spirit and also the virtual one on the Church website. Not to take things for granted, especially my health. Treasuring every moment. Having confidence in my faith to keep me and my family one safe and well. The generosity and kindness of strangers.
The variety of service delivery has been imaginative enlivening, we need more of this in church.
That the church is alive and well, and seemingly has an even greater impact beyond buildings, services and events.
The intimacy with God and each other that comes from stripping back the layers of formality
Family – blessed that we have been kept safe – have a problem that we as Christians think that we should have our prayers answered – pray for our family but why should God answer our prayers and not others
That Fellowship and worshipping together is so special. We are stronger together
Our faith is built on our Lord Jesus Christ. He is central to our belief and we are the Living Stones. I can worship, give thanks and Glorify Him in my garden.
From the reading in ‘UCB Word for Today’, 10th May, I have learnt that faith is based on, and believing in, the promises of God. We develop faith by reading God’s Word and the space that has resulted from not being able to be in church and not being able to be rushing around freely, has given me time to read His Word. (Romans 10:17)
With fewer outside commitments, it’s been easier to be more disciplined about prayer and meditation.
– Thinking more about relationships with our fellow human beings
– Seeing more people coming to faith when they ask the question ‘what have I got left?’
– Seeing more people responding to faith through the wider reach of the services on the internet
Enjoying His creation, reveling in the mysteries of His existence, marveling at His ability to bring hope and good into the bleakest situations
Lots of time to think and appreciate that – decide on what is important – days when i can be selfish and that’s ok Its ok to have a bad day.
For me it was my family that I missed not the building
My daily life happens within the context, the paradigm, of my faith in God. In an essential way my faith is no different in this new situation. It does get expressed though in different ways. Without a building or services to think about it frees up a lot of time for people, for prayer and for reflection and learning. However, it has potentially made more space for a self-involved individualism and one of the beautiful challenges of services and buildings is the need to hold something ‘together’ as a shared endeavour of commitment and surrender. Best expressed in the sacrament of communion. Coming together in time and place is a sign of our interconnectedness and I look forward to that again.
Appreciating that church services can carry on without the building. Gives optimism about the future, when services at St Paul’s may cease. Such a shame that many members of our congregation were unable to access the services because they haven’t got a computer.
Allows a greater connection from Church to home as I listen to the services at home. It creates an atmosphere in the home and brings Jesus into the neighbourhood/community of where I live. The immediate locality feels blessed and calmer as a result and I can see Jesus in my neighbours, in their daily actions of a greeting across the road, clapping for Keyworkers, caring for their gardens, walking their dogs, supporting their families.
I miss the beauty of the church buildings though which honour God and are sacred spaces of prayer.
These things can go on and I am thankful for the online services, resources and support from the Stroud team, their families.
Companionship – a real and present sense that I don’t walk through any of this alone.
As Christians we are called to ‘travel light’ through this world. This is what your reflection will look like once it is shared.
Finding God in unlikely places. This is what your reflection will look like once it is shared.
God has surprised me by looking after me in many unexpected ways, not least of which is helping me to get regular slots for my grocery deliveries!
The first time that I needed groceries during the lockdown, I tried to order online but there were no slots anywhere. I decided that, as my family were having to self isolate due to my daughter’s illness, I must just bite the bullet and go to the store, but I was scared! Anyway, I woke up really early on the morning of the first day of special hours for old people like me, so I thought, “Well that’s a sign that I should get dressed and go.” I got ready, but I had such a sense of unease. I sat on my bed and said, “Lord, am I supposed to go out to the shop?” and I was immediately prompted to check the website. There, before my very grateful eyes, was a whole day of slots and I was able to place my order and stay safely at home. Ever since, I have been able to find a slot when I’ve needed one and I have been able to order for friends, as well. My Heavenly Father is a loving God who cares about and provides for all our needs and He is my silver lining!
Not surprised by God at all – the truth is in the bible so no problem
It feels really freeing not to have all the little commitments that took up time every week, without feeling guilty about it – fewer ‘oughts’. I appreciate having time to do things like practising music regularly. And I’ve also been keeping in touch better with friends old and new, by post, email and telephone.
The UCB calendar had an April message on it “I am with you always, even unto the end of the World” Matthew 28-20 KJV. At first this disturbed me as the covid virus raged, then I realised that it meant that no matter how far the virus travelled to whatever part of earth, God would be everywhere too.
It made me think of the seen and the unseen as well.
I’m financially much better off because I’m spending so much less
He has kept me and my family safe and well.
He is God and Lord of all and no matter what happens, he is the Father of all compassion and comfort and is always there
I don’t know how ‘unexpected’ the silver linings for me have been. Church and community are a challenge to me in both a positive and negative way. I have found a great deal of peace in the space this time has allowed for. I am aware that to grow I also need the challenge and the surprises that only other people, places and times can offer. Discovering Christ in each person I encounter is not so easy to do within isolation.
Creation which comes from God has been truly wonderful, we have been blessed and sent a very strong message about how we can transform our natural world which in turn rewards us with health and life benefits.
Individual and community giving is the love of God in action.
I’ve loved seeing what other Christians in the area are up to – getting a taste of Taize, Still Moving & The Cow-shed from the safety of my living room
Finding a healthier pattern of living, and through that re learning complete reliance on God.
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On a desktop computer
In order for this to work you will need a computer with at least a microphone and speakers. You do not have to have camera, but obviously it helps.
A new window opens and you are taken to one of our video conference rooms using Google Meet
You may need to grant permission to use your camera and microphone.
We will get a notification that someone wants to join the call and we’ll let you in.
On an iPhone or Android
Download the app Google Meet first. Open the app and give it the permissions it needs to access your camera and microphone.
Then come back and click the Ding Dong! button on this page.
In these unprecedented times, we are working hard to find imaginative solutions in a landscape that has been rapidly changing. Sometimes we get things right, and sometimes we miss the mark. I apologise that this has been the case regarding communion.
For those of you who have received wafers in a parcel, we would ask that you either consume them, or put them somewhere safe to bring back once we are able to be together again.
We are going to be sending out a new order of service for use during this time as either a simple service of the word or, on occasion, to help us to share an Agape meal together.