Teignmouth United Reformed Church Community News – May 2020
Pastoral letter – April 2020
At the time of writing we have entered our second month of lockdown and a time of huge anxiety. One only has to see the news headlines to hear about the dangers and difficulties of life not just in the UK, but globally. We were struck by a recent devotion from Pete Greig, founder of the 24/7 prayer movement who pointed out that the Chinese word for ‘Crisis’ has 2 characters the first means ‘Danger’ and the second ‘Opportunity.’ We are in the middle of ‘dangerous opportunities.’ We are all profoundly affected by the dangerous situation not just health wise but also financially. Yet in every crisis there is opportunity.
One of the frequent commands in scripture is “Do not be afraid.” We need to take this to heart and instead of fearing, make the most of the opportunities that present themselves. So let’s find creative ways of sharing God’s love, peace and hope to those around us. Looking back in history the Gospel spreads in times of crisis. Theologian Eugene Peterson writes that containment can be a blessing. It can deepen you not diminish you and create diamonds in your life.
Several of us have tried new things in this season; trying new rhythms of prayer and Bible study; or watching church services online. We are impressed by those of you who have learned to ‘Zoom’, record yourselves reading a Bible passage, or made a ‘mini bite’, which are being very favourably received. Several folk are phoning people to have a chat and ensure they are OK. Others are supporting their neighbours or helping out at a community project, while yet others are working on the front line. We never imagined that we would be banging saucepans and shaking a tambourine out of our window once a week! Let’s encourage one another to try something new.
Some people are helping towards the provision of scrubs for health workers through ‘The Sewing Scrub Army’, and if you would like to be involved or donate to this, you can find the details by looking for them on Facebook or ringing 07966 584844. There is also a page on the ‘gofundme’ website, see https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-sewing-scrub-army.
If you would like to be involved in a virtual coffee group, please let us know and we can help you to connect. Or if you need help or prayer in any way please be in touch.
In difficult times the Bible has many encouraging passages that seem to speak right into these situations. Phil 4:5-9 reminds us,
“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Finally, whatever we do, may we all stay safe and well, follow the Government guidelines and stay spiritually connected.
Bev & Charlie Stockley
Film with Fish and Chips
Film with fish and chips.
We enjoyed Fish and Chips from the local Finn McCool’s fish bar and settled down to watch the film ‘Yentl’ (PG).
The Smugglers Inn
A great time was had by all when over 40 people gathered for a Fellowship meal at The Smugglers Inn on Wednesday 20th November
Boat trip on the River Teign
We had a boat trip on the River Teign on Saturday the 3rd. of August on the ‘Restless’. Leaving Teignmouth we made our way to Anstey’s Cove before returning back to the Teign. The journey out was a bit rocky but we all had a great time. On the way we saw various wildlife.