Trinity 8 Sunday 2nd August

31 Jul 20

Dear fellow companions on life's highway, 

This Sunday will be the first service at a church in the Benefice for 18 weeks!

As from today, I will now be sending out the Sunday services after the Sunday they have been taken.  

This means that you will receive them on Tuesday/Wednesdays.  On Fridays as from today, I am sending out an end-of-week update.  In this way, those who come on a Sunday will be presented with a fresh service. 

We had a very benefitial prayer time on Wednesday morning outside each of the churches in the benefice.

It was good to see some of you there!

Don't forget to write a prayer if you can, to be read at a forthcoming service and shared with those unable to come along.  Even if you cannot attend, please send them in!  

I've attached the following to encourage you

Reflection on Nehemiah

A Reflection outside our churches prior to re-opening (29/8/20) 

Nehemiah chapter 8 verses 10 and chapter 9 verses 19 to 21  

The joy of the Lord shall be your strength’ 

9v19 “Because of your great compassion you did not abandon your people in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. 20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. 21 For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen. 

We have been almost 5 months into the lockdown or ‘wilderness’.  The Israelites were 40 years in lockdown, wandering through an unknown wilderness.  They had no shops or NHS, but ‘their clothes did not wear out, nor did their feet become swollen’.  We are told that, ‘they lacked nothing’.  This same Hebrew phrase is used in the great and well-known Psalm 23 verse 1 which, as we know, says, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, nothing will I lack’ 

This is re-iterated by the writer of Proverbs who says in chapter 3 verses 5 and 6: 

‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths’

Poster - perfect peace

Comic piece 

So, what will our first Sunday at an open church bring?  Please continue to pray about what needs to be done to make our churches grow. Some of you I will see on Sunday, whilst others, it may be a little while yet. However, until we meet again keep safe, keep smiling, and keep close to the Lord!

 

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Rev. John's July Jottings

If you are sometimes asked, ‘How has the lockdown been affecting you?’ I imagine most of your answers have been around health, food supplies, maybe feeling lonely, being stuck indoors and missing family and friends. As the lockdown begins to ease, as it has been, we are ...

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Rev. John Langlands

 It is with great pleasure that I would like to welcome you to St Laurence.  Frances, my wife, and I have received a very warm welcome ourselves, so you will not be disappointed when you visit St Laurence.  I am also the Curate of the other churches in Ansley and Arley – St John’s, St Michael’s and St Wilfrid’s.

Being in a rural and farming area in the north part of Coventry Diocese is like coming home for us.  A number of years ago I pastored a church in rural Norfolk which was mainly surrounded by arable farms with some pigs and chickens.  The strong sense of community life was something very special.  This should be particularly valued in these days when many folk live such individual, separate and often lonely lives. 

We have just had hot off the press a visiting card which I hope reflects what our church stands for: ‘You will not walk alone.  Together we are with you on life’s journey’.  Over these next weeks, months and years, I hope we can get to know you better and that you will find Frances and myself not just ‘churchy’ people but friends as well, who enjoy life and plenty of laughter!