Greetings to all of you at All Saints!
I am writing to you from my home in Whitby on Day 5 of the 14 Day period of self isolation following my early return from holiday in Australia due to this dreadful pandemic. It was a difficult journey home. But it seems both Dianne and I have survived intact and we are feeling “fit as fleas” as far as jet lag will permit us! We are now doing our best not to go stir crazy.
Whilst it is difficult for me, I realize that many of you are facing far more worries than I am and I want to encourage you as much as possible. It is a time of great worry for our country, our town, our family and ourselves. Suddenly, out of the blue, we are faced with our own mortality and this is hard for all of us. The natural thing to do in these circumstances is to meet up with family and friends, chat with our neighbours over the fence and for us as Christians come to church on Sundays. Unfortunately, we have been either advised or legally mandated to do none of these things. For those already shut in on their own or in nursing homes this is a double whammy. For those of you at All Saints’ in that position we are doing our best to reach out to you. I can assure you that you are at the centre of my prayers and I will be in touch with you individually in the coming days and weeks.
I met with the Wardens and Deacons yesterday by video (see the leadership team March 21 update). We are aware that all of us at All Saints’ are missing each other and our communal worship of God and His Son Jesus Christ. With that in mind I encourage you all to pray for each other and bear with us as we try to put together some form of online service for you all. I find that at times like this God seems to be much nearer as we come to Him in prayer.
I am presently reading a book entitled God and Churchill, which deals with the much unheralded spiritual life of that great man. When he was planning to meet with Franklin Roosevelt in Cairo, Egypt during the war, the American President sent a cable warning they might be exposed to air attacks by the German Luftwaffe. Churchill’s reply was simple: “John 14: 1–4.” I leave you with the King James version of the words of Jesus contained in this piece of scripture:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there may ye be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.