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Nwandu living with lock-down
Let us stay connected to one another even at this difficult times. This period of lockdown of the nation, a situation which we couldn't have prepared for, have been very challenging and stressful for me. Social Isolation goes against our natural instinct to be free to connect with others. We were made to be in relationships. Being one of the 'at risk group' made one initially feel like an outsider or worse an outcast. Seeing people crossover to the other side for safe distancing when l go out walking for my exercise, made me feel dejected. There are days and times when l feel alone, sad, and often lethargic. Even my prayer life seem to have suffered in spite of the free time "created by the stay home" regulations,
Scripture is full of encouragements for the destitute and marginalised.
Jesus's message of love and nearness are for us at such a time as this. He meets us where we are. He sent a dear friend to call me at one of my low points and it turned the day around for me. I felt warm and joyful, like I was enjoying the bright morning sun breaking into a grey morning.
Jesus needs us to be His arm to extend His grace to others. Let's give ourselves, with all our inadequacies, to Jesus at this time when a lot are alone, and afraid for the future.
What can l do, l prayerfully asked. This is what l was led to do on Easter morning. I sent to a homeless man sitting in front of a store, a gift in an envelope, with the words written on it, "Jesus loves you". He took the envelope , read the message, put it down and picked it up again. At that point l stopped looking. I don't know if he is a Christian or not. All l know is that he read and received Jesus's message of love; for that moment he was not alone. He was connected to the love that is bigger than us, the love that is beyond our understanding.
We all want to do good. Let's continue to pray for guidance. A phone call or WhatsApp video link connect us in such a personal way that assures us that we are not alone.
Jesus said to his disciples " l will be with you, even to the end of the age" Matt 28:20. We are not alone. Praise God. Hallelujah !!
Thank you Nwandu
We, at Golders Green Parish, have received this recent email appeal from Alyth Garden Synagogue, the organisers of the Night Shelter Project, in conjunction with “Homeless Action Barnet(HAB)” and “Together in Barnet” in which we have been involved for several years. We have been sent the following update with, most importantly, an appeal for essential provision and other kinds of help.
We are so glad that the night shelter guests have been found accommodation by HAB and others working with them. It was a cause for concern that we could no longer accommodate them in our church from the beginning of the lock-down and it is so good to know they are all being cared for at other venues.
Please read their appeal and see if you or anyone you know can help in any way. It would be so welcomed.
NIGHTSHELTER APPEAL FROM AMANDA and TEAM:
“I hope you are all well and are coping during this difficult time. Thank you again to everyone who has helped out and supported Together in Barnet and Homeless Action in Barnet over the last few years, we are so grateful.
We wanted to update you on where we're up to at the moment. In conjunction with HAB we are now supporting 90 clients with bi-weekly deliveries of food and essential items.
If you would like to help with either of these roles, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
At present the volunteering roles we need help with are:
1. Delivery drivers - Clients have been placed in accommodation across Barnet, Brent, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Camden and Harlesden.
2. Volunteers to pick up clients' medication from pharmacies and deliver to HAB to then be put in the food parcels.
We also need donations of the following items. These can either be delivered to HAB (36B Woodhouse Rd, North Finchley, London N12 0RG) during their opening hours (Mon-Fri 9am-3pm) or ordered from the link below and then they will be delivered straight to HAB:
• Tinned meat
• Tinned fish
• Tinned sweetcorn
• UHT Milk
• Butter/marg small tubs
• Tinned veg; peas and carrots (not chickpeas and kidney beans, lentils etc)
• Jars of sauces, bolognese, Carbonara etc
• Super Noodles with flavourings (Pot Noodles etc)
• Individual cooking oils
• Sachets of salt and pepper
• Stock cubes
• Toilet Rolls
• Long life puddings: Tinned rice pudding/Tinned fruit
• Small washing up liquid
• cleaning sprays
Amazon wish list link: https://amzn.eu/5DT7ICj
Together in Barnet has asked if we can collect volunteers details in order to allow them to be able to contact volunteers directly, especially during this rapidly changing time, to ensure that we are best placed to support our clients.
They are also developing their policies and procedures and in going forward it is mandatory that they have all volunteers’ details who are involved in Together in Barnet for safeguarding purposes.
I would be grateful if you could send the details of the following information as soon as possible by e-mail to email@example.com
1. First Name:
3. Mobile number (landline if no mobile):
4. Email address:
5. Which Shelter venue or volunteer community are you associated with:
6. Consent to be added to the Together in Barnet database of volunteers:
7. Consent for your information to be passed to Homeless Action in Barnet who are coordinating logistics:
Thank you so much to everyone who's been helping out already! We couldn't do this without you.
Thank you all so much again, your help is invaluable.
Ruth, Rex, Ron & Danielle
A Rocha newsletter is now available
What the Roberts Family think of the lock down
Charles Dickens eloquently opened A Tale of Two Cities with the lines: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…". Fine words indeed to describe our current position - but as Thea more succinctly put it "it's flippin' bonkers". How true.
We have full time jobs but we are full time schooling. We are trapped but doing more exercise than ever. We are in hectic & acquisitive London but there is a calmness. It is a time of contrasts. The girls drew a rainbow to capture this. A rainbow is beautiful but you can't have one without the rain first.
So here's to seeing you all back at Church soon when we will all have our rainbow together. x
Please continue to pray for those who have asked us as a community to pray for them
Okey Jnr, Margaret, Yvone, Anna, Jason, Ian, Eva, Juliette, Ivor, Myfanwy, Tim and Dorothy
We at Golders Green Church will continue to offer a number of ways we can and will keep in contact though emailing and phoning each other, the use of Facebook and the website, sending out updates by supporting those who need shopping, prescriptions fetched, letters posted and anything else you may need if you are isolated at home, whether you are in the over 70-year-old age group, or, have underlying health conditions.
The important thing is, PLEASE LET US KNOW. We are drawing up a list of volunteers we can call on to help. If anyone wants to add their names to this, please email Rex firstname.lastname@example.org
World Vision have resources for young people to enjoy in the lock down
Paul A Biography
Published by SPCK (27 Feb. 2018)
Tom Wright (sometimes N T Wright) is currently Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary's College, St Andrews. He was Bishop of Durham from 2003-2010. He is considered a leading expert on St Paul; he is also one of the leading figures that developed what is known as the ‘New Perspective on St Paul.’ This movement that began over a hundred years but was not really accepted or discussed. It really found its feet after the second world war and took off during the last decades of the last century. It sought to understand St Paul as a first century Jew. This new perspective led to a fresh reading of many of his letters and understanding of St Paul himself.
I think Wright’s books can normally be divided into two groups, those authored by N T Wright, these are for the academic reader; and those authored by Tom Wright which are aimed at a more popular audience. His latest book, Paul A Biography I think combines both very well.
In this book the questions that Tom Wright asks are, “What motivated St Paul to do what he did and the way that he did it?” Towards the end of the book, he very briefly asks, “Why was he so successful?
I particularly enjoyed how he uses Acts as the map for our journey and then uses the letters that Paul wrote to explore the themes and controversies, which act like the signposts to guide us this journey of discovery. As someone schooled in the classics he points out with ease those writers outside the New Testament who were influential in St Paul’s day. This adds colour to the scenery for us.
As I have found with many of his other books, it is Tom Wright’s little throw away comments, as much as the big themes of the book that impact on me. At one point he says, ‘the Jewish law shows us that God always wanted to talk to His people, the Temple shows that He always wanted to be with them.’ I spent days just thinking how simple yet profound that is.
Tom Wright builds a picture for us of the character of St Paul; he uses Acts and the letters to do this. With his knowledge of the subject, I do not think St Paul would be able to argue with Tom Wright’s conclusions, but then what he says about St Paul, of course he would argue with him!
He has his own theory of the order of which St Paul wrote the letters (and of course which ones he wrote), not all scholars will agree with him on either of these points. He also speculates as to what might have happened to St Paul in Ephesus, suggesting that he had some kind of breakdown. As he speculates on this point, he is holding St Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. I think he makes a very persuasive case, but like much with St Paul we simply do not know.
If you want to have a better understanding of St Paul, the events of his ministry, the controversies that surrounded him, and of course what motivated him, I cannot recommend this book highly enough to you, it is clear and easy to read, written by an expert in the field.
Radio, Television and Online Worship
You may wish to join in worship during this time through television and radio.
Check online, in the Radio Times and elsewhere for details:
Songs of Praise BBC 1, Sunday afternoon, variable times
Sunday Worship BBC Radio 4, Sunday, 8.10am Choral Evensong BBC
Radio 3, Wednesday Daily Service
BBC Radio 4 (Longwave only), weekdays, 9.45am
Big Sunday Service Premier Christian Radio, Sunday, 7am, 8am, 10am Easter Sunday Eucharist A service is usually broadcast on the BBC on Easter morning
Online resources Church of England Daily Prayer https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-dailyprayer
https://mailchi.mp/b9d86a4acdc7/coming-up-from-st-pauls-cathedral-1274047?e=377e26b1db St Paul’s Cathedral have a number of resources available for us to use.
Church of England Online Resources during this time https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronaviruscovid-19-liturgy-and-prayer-resources
Go On-line to "www.A Church NearYou", put in Area or post code and find a local church that broadcasts Worship.
Prayers frm Christian Aid https://www.christianaid.org.uk/pray/churches/coronavirus-prayers
https://pray-as-you-go.org/ Pray as you God (a short service each day in the Jesuit Tradition)
LICC have some great resources on their website https://www.licc.org.uk/
Especially on Covod-19 https://www.licc.org.uk/ourresources/prayer-journeys/presence-pressure-purpose/
YouTube - Worship Videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQWFzMvCfLE 'What a beautiful name' - Hillsong
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ns15nFSfgU 'Great is the Lord (Hallelujah)' - Paul Wilbur
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPBmFwBSGb0 'Angus Dei' / 'Hallelujah' - Michael W Smith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI7N1JMvtnE 'Jesus Only You' - Martin Smith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9UB5U7kSec 'Behold (then sings my soul)' - Hillsong
Alternatively, try and tune into Premier Praise.
Do you have favourite worship songs? Please email them to Rex