On Facebook an idea was suggested from a church who usually put their Cross outside with daffodils on like we do. The idea is because of the STAY HOME SITUATION – they are going to be making Crosses in a variety of ways and displaying them in their windows. I hope our Churches could likewise.
Kay Davies. (Stockland Green)
We live in strange times. There are lots of awful things happening right now. We are afraid of what is going to happen next and the temptation is to become an Awfulizer*
We are fearful of what is happening and then our imagination grows it into the worst case scenario:-
“Cornavirus is spreading. What if I am infected? What if I already have it and I don’t know yet? What if I spreading it to my family? What happens if we all get it? What if I die from this?”
The fact is that our fears can spread quicker than the virus and we are taken to our most extreme what-if scenarios. We quickly start on the downward spiral of imagining the worst.
Break the spiral by trying some simple steps:-
- Get factual data – Filter through what you read, hear and see each day. Is it a fact? Is it opinion or is it rumour? (e.g. All our toilet rolls are imported from China -RUMOUR, NOT TRUE.)
- Have a good perspective – Remind yourself of the troubles you have faced in the past and survived! You may have over-worried in the past about things that never occurred, the same is true today.
- Don’t become a news addict – Do you feel butterflies in the tummy when you turn on the news? And then a wave of fear when the initial excitement fades? Do you turn on the news channel at breakfast and turn it off at bedtime? If so you need to wean your self off news binging. Limit yourself to just watching the news a couple of times a day. And never, never, never get your news from social media!
- Give your self a good talking to – Remember as a child when you had a nightmare or were scared? Remember what your grandmother said to you? Tell yourself the same thing now!
- Practice gratitude – List three things to be grateful for each day. Spend time thinking about them rather than worrying. What we focus on grows and so we find more things to be grateful for and less to worry about.( I use a simple mindfulness journal. Contact me if you want to know more.)
As humans we continue to evolve. We learn new things as we face crises and overcome problems together. The same is true in the present crisis, we will overcome it, we will learn and we will be stronger.
For the present look for the helpers. Connect with those around you. Allow the uncertainty of the days to bond us together as we explore ways of being church when we can’t go to church.
Julian of Norwich reminds us that “all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” written during a time of pestilence, around 1370.
God bless and keep safe,
(* Not a real word, but it sound good!)
Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, Professor Clive Marsh, reflects on where God is during the coronavirus pandemic.
Read his BLOG on the Methodist Church website.
The BBC has announced that Sunday services will be broadcast across its 39 local radio stations in England every week for Christian worshippers who cannot get to church.
The first service on Sunday at 08:00 GMT will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Further details here.
Coronavirus guidance from the Methodist Church
Updated 17 March 15:00
It is with sadness that we recommend that worship services in Methodist Churches are suspended for the time being in line with Government guidance. We would encourage people who lead services to think about how worship might be offered in different ways, including online and using worship at home sheets.
During this incredibly difficult time when people might want to spend time in prayer in their Methodist Church. Local trustees should consider whether it is possible to open up their churches to enable people to come and pray or sit quietly, perhaps offering prayer stations as a point of reflection with precautions around physical distancing.
Suspending services means that we advise that baptisms will not take place in public worship and if you have a wedding planned in a Methodist Church you should speak to your minister. While funerals may still take place, we would advise that the number of people attending is limited as per the Government’s advice.
In terms of Church business, we recommend that all meetings including church councils and circuit meetings should be cancelled. Districts chairs will be in touch about Synods. The next meeting of the Methodist Council has been suspended and we will advise on how essential business will be carried out. We will be issuing further advice on this.
To read the latest version of this article in full, please follow this link.