Covid-19 Resources

Covid-19 Resources

Covid-19 Resources

St Andrew’s Church

Burnham on Sea

 

 

 

COVID, ME and MY CHURCH

 

 

A document to read, ponder and reflect on

 

Guidelines for using this booklet

This booklet is loosely based on one that was produced for the Diocese of Oxford.

The coming of Covid 19 has meant we have to think about what this means for each of us as people and as Christians. Sharon begins this study by writing an introduction to consider the three separate ways of responding to the effects C19 has had on us as individuals and on the church.

Please read this booklet through – it has 3 interactive sections and you can consider these separate sections over 3 weeks or in some other way. Each section has an introduction and is followed by some questions you might like to consider and respond to.

There are blank pages in the booklet for you to record your own ideas and thoughts and Revd Margaret offers a few tips on ‘Journaling’.

This booklet is for you to use and no one else. You do not have to share your ideas, though you may choose to do so – the choice is yours. It might be at a later stage we might want to share some of our individual thinking and thoughts – but that is for later.

We hope this booklet will be a useful way to try and make sense of this unprecedented situation we find ourselves in.

It comes with our love, prayer and care

Fr Graham, Revd. Sharon & Revd. Margaret

 

 St Andrews responding in an era of Coronavirus-

An introduction by Revd Sharon

Perhaps the most widely used word of the last six months is ‘unprecedented’. It does indeed seem that we are living in unprecedented times, at least for our lifetimes. It can be deeply unsettling. It comes without a tried and tested roadmap. The usual signposts and symbols of our society that we have come to understand and rely on become blurred or redundant. Change, and that not of our choosing, is all around us, with the way ahead uncertain and full of ambiguities.

As human beings, it is perhaps natural to experience such unsettling change as unwelcome and threatening. Quite apart from the health threats brought about by Covid-19, we may be fearful of losing something of our way of life; we may long for that which we miss and no longer have in this present reality. Every generation has had to face change of one kind or another. The Christian belief of redemption means that somewhere, somehow, there is a way to not only live with change, but to embrace change and find fresh opportunities, new ways of being, diamonds in the dust if you will. The God who turns our mourning into dancing offers us a future and a hope, as we follow Him and seek and share His Kingdom amongst us.

This is called Mission, and it is the task of every generation of God’s people.

Mission is seeing what God is doing in the world- and joining in’ Rowan Williams after St Francis of Assisi

 

The five marks of mission were first developed by the Anglican Consultative Council in 1984 and adopted by the General Synod of the Church of England in 1996.

Many dioceses and other denominations use them as the basis of action plans and creative mission ideas; a framework to help us live what it means to be Church in society and our own context:

Each mark of mission is given ( in BOLD) and then there are notes on each to develop what each might mean today in greater detail (Italics)

  1. To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom

How we gather and worship as church and community in a Covid era- both actually, and virtually, via other means such as online, postal services, telephone etc.

 

  1. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers.

To impart and demonstrate the reconciling and inclusive love and grace of God throughout the Parish and beyond.

 

  1. To respond to human need by loving service

To recognise and respond to human need by acts of loving service throughout the Parish and beyond.

This includes Occasional offices such as Baptism, Weddings, Funerals and memorials; pastoral care, and working alongside community partners for the increased good of all.

 

  1. To seek to transform unjust structures of society and to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation

To challenge and transform unjust structures, working for social justice in areas such as poverty, physical and mental health, sexuality, abuse and violence of all kinds, and fair trade and economics.

 

  1. To safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the earth

To safeguard the integrity of creation, caring and being stewards for the environment, and rejoicing in the diversity of our planet.

 

With the Marks of Mission informing our thinking, over the coming weeks we will be exploring our response as Church and community to the challenges, changes and opportunities presented to us by Lockdown and this subsequent Covid era.

We will invite God to search and inspire our hearts by reflecting, talking, praying, using art and poetry maybe, as well as personal journaling and contemplation.

To do this, we will seek to address this ‘new normal’ into which we are emerging as individuals, as Church and as society, and find new ways to sing the eternal song of God’s faithful loving kindness throughout our community, and to consider together the following questions which form our response to Covid19

 

  1. What have we lost in lockdown that we need to grieve for as Church, as individuals, and as society?

 

  1. What things are ‘on hold’, and are some of these things that we need to let go of, or change?

 

 

  1. What new opportunities and ideas are there for us to respond to, and what do we need to change or develop further or afresh?

 

 JOURNALING

What are the benefits of keeping a Journal?

There are many and they include:

Doorway into our internal landscape

An intentional activity that can deepen our relationship with God

A private sacred space where we can explore life’s highs, lows and journey

Opportunity to record and reflect on passages of scripture

Noting the still small voice from within

Exploring grief and transition

A reminder of God’s provision, faithfulness & care

Provides material for discussion with spiritual director

Discovering God in the mundane and ordinary aspects of life

Provides a record of how far you’ve journeyed, what God has been doing in your life

How to Journal

Journaling is not a one size fits all activity… there are no hard and fast rules, so you can play to the strengths of your personality, skills and gifts.

Get a good journal or notebook and decorate it in any way you like. Decorative ideas include: a saying from the Bible, scrapbook cut-outs, your name in large letters, words that represent the joy of Christianity to you, etc.

Make a front page explaining what you're doing. This will help to guide you with the purpose for the journal and will help anyone else you'd like to read it to see what you were aiming to achieve through the journal. Please remember you don't have to share it with anyone.

Add Content! This might include poems, songs, your favourite scriptures, sermons, and faith mementos. You can make the journal as visual as you like. Mind maps, images, doodles, etc., are all creative ways to increase the value and enjoyment of creating your journal.

When to Journal

No time limits

When the desire takes you

When you want to remember something significant and important

Develop the habit of journaling

Keep the Journal handy

Carry the journal with you wherever you go. The Lord works in mysterious ways. You never know when you will encounter something worth journaling…

Why then do I set before you an ordered account of so many things? It’s certainly not through me that you know them. But I’m stirring up love for you in myself and in those who read this so that we may all say, great is the Lord and highly worthy to be praised. I tell my story for love of your love”

St Augustine of Hippo

 

 Part 1 – MOURNING AND LAMENTING:

QUESTION: What do we feel we have lost during the pandemic, and what do we grieve for in our life and worship at the moment?

INTRODUCTION

Lamentations 1:1-4

How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!
How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations!
She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave.

Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are on her cheeks.
Among all her lovers there is no one to comfort her.
All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies.

After affliction and harsh labour, Judah has gone into exile.
She dwells among the nations; she finds no resting place.
All who pursue her have overtaken her in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to her appointed festivals.
All her gateways are desolate, her priests groan,
her young women grieve, and she is in bitter anguish.

Psalm 13

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.

 

Lament is a human experience, and a common biblical theme. Lament is an expression, in words, symbols or actions, of sorrow for a situation, community or global event.

The Old Testament prophets spoke words of lament, and many of the psalms are laments in themselves. Indeed, the 4thCentury theologian Athanasius says

Scripture speaks to us, but the Psalms speak for us’.

So in Psalm 137 we have the lament of God’s people finding themselves in exile, and not unlike ourselves asking in their grief:

How can we sing the Lord’ song in a strange land?’

 

Today, in the era of Covid-19, we are asked to nevertheless sing the Lord’s song, in a land now somewhat unfamiliar to us, and like God’s people before us, to give voice to our own grief, and that of our community and beyond, in lament:

QUESTION: What do we feel we have lost during the pandemic, and what do we grieve for in our life and worship at the moment?

Remember there are no right or wrong answers here, simply your own thoughts, feelings, convictions and challenges. These can be personal such as the loss of a favourite routine or excursion, and/or something communal such as singing, sharing the peace, taking communion, human touch etc.

 

 QUESTIONS:

What have you personally mourned for since March 2020 when lockdown took place? What are the losses you have experienced in the time of this pandemic? Please write your ideas here.

 

 Then, there are the things which affect our community, nation and wider world such as unemployment, access to medicine and rising poverty.

What do you mourn for that’s happened in the community and world since March 2020 when lockdown took place?

What do you mourn for in our society and world at this time?

 

MARY SAYS REPETITION

 

What have you mourned about the Church since March 2020 when lockdown took place?

 

 

What has happened to the five marks of mission since March.

Are you mourning any of them at this time?

 

 

CONCLUSION

We end this section on mourning with some words from Scripture - Lamentations 3:19-24

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.

21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Amen.

What is your response to these words?

 

 Like the author of Lamentations you might like to write a poem or prayer in a time of lamenting Covid19

 

 

PART TWO - EMERGING FROM CORONAVIRUS

INTRODUCTION

QUESTION: What things are ‘on hold’ in our lives and in our Church due to Covid 19 and what things that we are currently doing that we need to let go of, or change as a result of Covid 19?

 

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
   He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
   he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
   for his name’s sake.


Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
   I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff—
   they comfort me.


You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
   my whole life long.

 

Covid-19 has had a devastating effect upon “Our World”. It has stopped us in our tracks and we have had no choice but to put “on hold” certain aspects of our personal and communal lives.

Can we identify and name those things?

Once we have done so we can move on to asking ourselves the difficult questions:

Should we let go of those things?

Should we change those things?

Should we work to restore those things?

As you reflect and write remember at all times to consider both the personal and communal aspects of our lives

 

 

 The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is a tool to help us consider these questions

Ask the questions above from your own Christian heart mind and soul,

always seeking to hear the voice of God in your reflections.

 

As Christians we know that God created and loves us and continually recreates us and wants to share life with us forever.

All things in the world are also created because of God’s love. They are gifts to us to enable us to know something of the nature and love of God.

This wonderful knowledge calls forth a response from us of Praise, Respect and Service towards God.

All things in life have the potential of calling from us a more loving response to God. God Calls and we Respond.

In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance before all created gifts. We should endeavour to try not to fix our wishes on health or sickness, wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or a short one. Rather we should remember that everything has the potential of calling forth in us a more loving response to the call of God. Ignatius sees God as ever and always present. Involved in the details of our life.

Taking the guidance from St Ignatius that God calls forth a response from us and that also all things in his world have this potential of calling forth a more loving response from us reflect on the following questions.

QUESTIONS

What things are ‘on hold’ and are some of them things that we need to let go of, or change? And then ask yourself what happens to the things on hold?(either write/draw or imagine your answers)

 

What things from our lives are ‘on hold’? Now ask yourself what has happened to these things?

 

 

Which things should I/ we let go of ?

 

 

Which things should we change those things, now having had time to stand back from them?

 

 

 Which things should we strive to restore those things?

 

 

CONCLUSION

Looking at the five marks of mission on page 5 – which of them are we able to put on hold. Are there any so important that we need to respond to them now?

 

 

We finish with the Prayer of St. Ignatius.

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me. Amen.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556

This prayer is about the changed situation of St Ignatius

You might like to write your own poem or prayer in response to the things we have placed ‘on hold’ at the moment.

 

 

 

PART 3 – CAN ANY GOOD COME OUT OF COVID19

INTRODUCTION

Question: What new opportunities and ideas are there for us to respond to, and what do we need to change or develop further or afresh?

Donald Rumsfeld once famously said:

There are known knowns, there are known unknowns and there are unknown unknowns.

Way back in March when we entered the lockdown of our normal ordinary everyday lives there were some things we knew and there were somethings we discovered about our own domestic lives, our nation’s life and the way our National Health Service was heroically facing the unknown situation.

As life and the lockdown went on we had to adapt our lives to the new situation – staying apart, washing our hands more often, learning to stay in touch with family in new ways. For us at St Andrew’s the technology of the internet meant we began to find ways of offering worship at home.

The diocese is still functioning as is all areas of life and I have joined in school governors meetings via Zoom as well as a host of Church meetings. We have had to ‘invent the wheel’ quickly to provide for all members of the Church community – online or offline and to offer hospitality for the wider community in Burnham.

Now five months on we are still facing an unpredictable future – a second wave of C19 is breaking out in localised areas in the country and we may all have to face the very real possibility of a second lockdown across the country and all that that may mean for us personally, and as a church and not least for our children and grandchildren.

So this final section is a consideration of the 3rd question posed at the beginning of this section.

Question: What new opportunities and ideas are there for us to respond to, and what do we need to change or develop further or afresh?

QUESTIONS

What has happened to you – the new unknown and unexpected opportunities that you were not doing before lockdown?

 

 What has pleasantly surprised you about yourself in this time?

 

 

What has pleasantly surprised you about the Church in this ‘season’ of C19

 

 

What has happened to the church - the new unexpected unknown opportunities that were not happening before lockdown?

REPETITION

 

 

What unknown and unexpected things have you had to embrace and develop in lockdown that you will keep and develop once more normal life resumes?

 

 What unknown and unexpected things has the church had to embrace and develop in lockdown that you think should be kept and developed once more ‘normal’ life resumes?

 

 Are there any of the Five Marks of Mission that now need us to pay special attention to because of our experience of Covid 19?

 

 Might we want to add another mark of Mission to the five that exist already? What might it be? Imagine and write your answer.

 

 CONCLUSION

The prayer of Pastor Richard Niebuhr

 

God, grant me the serenity to

accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

 

Comment on the prayer

 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

May we have the courage, faith and trust to embrace the new things that Covid 19 has thrown up rather than complaining that ‘things are not what they used to be’

courage to change the things I can,-

given that new things have happened to me and our community and world

I must face them with changed attitudes.

Activity

Now write a poem or prayer that reflects the new things we have had to think about that has come out of ‘these unprecedented times’

 

 CONCLUSION

 

We hope you have found this a useful exercise to undertake. Look at what you have written – read it, pray it ponder it.

It may be that we will find ways to share our thoughts – for those who choose to do so.

 

Whatever the case may God bless us as we reflect on his steadfast love.

 

 

 Covid and Me / Church opening/ Aug 20

 

 

 

 

 

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Visual Commentary on Scripture

https://thevcs.org

(The Visual Commentary on Scripture (VCS) is a freely accessible online publication that provides theological commentary on the Bible in dialogue with works of art. It helps its users to (re)discover the Bible in new ways through the illuminating interaction of artworks, scriptural texts, and commissioned commentaries. The VCS combines three academic disciplines: theology, art history, and biblical scholarship. While the project’s main commitment is to theology, it is responsibly informed by the latter two disciplines. Each section of the VCS is a virtual exhibition comprising a biblical passage, three art works, and their associated commentaries. The curators of each exhibition select artworks that they consider will open up the biblical texts for interpretation, and/or offer new perspectives on themes the texts address. The commentaries explain and interpret the relationships between the works of art and the scriptural text. The virtual exhibitions of the VCS aim to facilitate new possibilities of seeing and reading so that the biblical text and the selected works of art come alive in new and vivid ways.)

 

Celtic Daily Prayer:

We pray for all who have contracted Covid-19. Be with them and their loved ones and bring healing to their bodies. We pray for all medical staff and emergency services as they look after the physical health, worries and concerns of their patients, especially the vulnerable and particularly those who have reduced contact with the outside world. Let us be good neighbours, looking out and after each other. We remember the work of scientists, discovering and testing vaccines for this disease, and we pray for all of us, caught up in our everyday lives with the effects of these outbreaks.

Bless your world Lord, and help us to be blessings to one another, in Jesus name. Amen

 The Celtic Daily Prayer Service

Opening Sentences.

We meet in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

One thing I have asked of the Lord,

This is what I seek:

That I may dwell in the house of the Lord

All the days of my life;

To behold the beauty of the Lord

And to seek Him in His temple.

Call: Who is it that you seek

Response: We seek the Lord our God.

Call: Do you seek him with all your heart?

Response: Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Call: Do you seek him with all your soul?

Response: Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Call: Do you seek him with all your mind?

Response: Amen. Lord, have mercy.

Call: Do you seek Him with all your strength?

Response: Amen. Christ, have mercy.

Declaration of faith

To whom shall we go?

You have the words of eternal life,

And we have believed and have come to know

That You are the Holy One of God.

All: Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Psalm for the day – Choose one to use

N.T. Reading for the day – see chart or readings on Church website

Meditation of the day – a time of pausing to reflect on the reading

2 Forms of Prayer

Morning Prayer – Common Worship

This is the day that the Lord has made.

All: Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

(or)

O Lord,open our lips

All: and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Give us the joy of your saving help

All: and sustain us with your life-giving Spirit.

A Psalm may be read

A reading from Scripture – see chart for those not on internet 0r follow weeks readings on Church website

A time of reflection

The Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah) is said.

1 Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, ♦ who has come to his people and set them free.

2 He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour, ♦ born of the house of his servant David.

3 Through his holy prophets God promised of old ♦ to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all that hate us,

4 To show mercy to our ancestors, ♦ and to remember his holy covenant.

5 This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham: ♦ to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

6 Free to worship him without fear, ♦ holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

7 And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, ♦ for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

8 To give his people knowledge of salvation ♦ by the forgiveness of all their sins.

9 In the tender compassion of our God ♦ the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

10 To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, ♦ and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and shall be forever. Amen.

Intercessions

Collect for the weekuse prayer book if have one or if on the internet via Church website

The Lord’s prayer

The Grace.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God

and of the Holy Spirit be with us all , Now and evermore. Amen

Diocesan prayer

Every Blessing, Lord God, carer of all people, creator, sustainer and healer;

Prayers – ending with

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name;

Thy kingdom come;

Thy will be done; On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, As, we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

The power and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen

Canticle

Christ as a light

Illuminate and guide me

Christ as a shield

O’ershadow me

Christ under me

Christ over me

Christ beside me

On my left and my right

This day be within

and without me

Lowly and meek yet

All-powerful

Be in the heart Of each to whom I speak

In the mouth of each who speaks unto me

This day be within and without me

Lowly and meek yet

All-powerful

Christ as a light

Christ as a shield

Christ beside me

On my left and my right.

Amen.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us,

Where He may send us,

May He guide us through the wilderness,

Protect us through the storm.

May He bring us home rejoicing

At the wonders He has shown us,

May He bring us home rejoicing

Once again into our doors.

Amen.