As the sun begins to shine, buds and flowers begin to peep through, our hope is beginning to rise too.
This week, we want to encourage you to take up some of the opportunities to engage with your faith that we are creating as we continue through Lent, into Holy Week, Easter and beyond.
This Sunday is Mothering Sunday, and we will be celebrating! Join us on the Services section of our website. I will be leading and preaching and members of All Saints, Uplands will be reading and praying. Remember to like and share with your friends and family – its a really easy way to reach out to others.
We are excited about what God will do through our town-wide Holy Week of 24/7 prayer. We are praying for healing for all that has been and hope for all that will be. A whole bunch of groups, churches and organisations are joining in and some amazing commitments have already been made. There will be a virtual prayer room, our buildings will be open at different times throughout the week, and there will be groups meeting virtually. There is, of course, our virtual prayer board and a wonderful, dedicated prayer team. We have added the opportunity for feedback on those prayers, and would also encourage you to add anything you have discerned through prayer to our prayer board – we want to be listening, expectantly, to God and treasuring what we hear. We are also compiling resources and ideas for you to use. If you have any of your own, please do send them through so that we can share them. You can sign up and find more information on our website.
As we get ready for our Easter celebrations in our church buildings, once again we are having to think about how we can do that as creatively and inclusively as possible. The format will be similar to Christmas, with readings, prayers, hymns and the opportunity to receive Communion on a drop-in basis. We are hoping that we will have Easter fires, gathering people in, and will be lighting our Easter candles with a particularly poignant longing for the hope of resurrection following the year we have had. Again, there is more information on our website, where you will also hear news as our different worshipping communities make decisions about when and how to restart live services as we move through April.
We are continuing to seek God about the shape of our third post in the Team. We are carefully considering the challenges and opportunities we face and trying to think creatively, sustainably and in a way that allows as much fruitfulness as possible. We are committed to caring for those within our congregations, those within our communities, our schools, those who are seeking, mourning and celebrating. We are committed to working collaboratively with other organisations working to bring transformation in people’s lives, and for our environment. There is a lot to consider, particularly given the biblical call of the church to live, breath and act for the benefit of its non-members.
Have a good look around, talk to friends and family about how you would like to engage with any or all of this, hold on in there and keep the faith.