Previous letters -1st May 2020
I hope you are all well and finding ways of coping in these circumstances. I've found the last week quite difficult and they said on the news that it's been a bad week for a lot of people, probably because it seems like things are going on for a long time now. I was sitting thinking about my grandparents and other family members of the same generation. They were born in the 1890s and so were young adults when the Spanish flu came along . At the time, my grandparents were preparing to get married and were thinking about how to set up home in the immediate aftermath of the First World War. It must have been an incredibly difficult time for them. I don't remember this episode ever being mentioned though in the family. As a child, I learned about my Grandpa's experiences in the war, but the flu pandemic never featured in the conversations. They say that these pandemics come around approximately every hundred years. So I was thinking that it would be good if we could keep some kind of record of how we coped, so that when our grandchildren/ great-grandchildren etc perhaps experience something like this, they will have something to help them. So would you like to join me in a project to leave something useful behind for those who will come after us? Maybe a diary, or a piece of writing of some kind, or a piece of artwork , or some photos or something? Then, when we can get back together, we could make a time capsule with the pieces in and have it placed somewhere in one of our churches for future generations to find. Obviously there would need to be a plaque or something, so that they know it's there. We could seal and place the capsule in a Circuit service once we are all back together. What do you think? If you would like to participate, perhaps you could let me know. Contributions from all ages would be great.
As Christians our sense of community stretches beyond that which we can see now. It includes those who have gone before us and those who are yet to come. I always have a strong sense of that when we share in Communion together. During that service we often say :
' Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again'. The past, present and future are all one. The presence and love of God span them all. That concept feels to me like a safety net. It is wrapped round everyone, past, present and future and it holds us all, whatever happens. In difficult times, we may not always feel like praying, but God is still watching and listening. The safety net is still there.
This is one of the prayers from the communion service for the Easter season:
Of your own free goodness and mercy you have created us,
And through the resurrection of your only-begotten Son you have given us hope; guard us by your love and, in your wisdom, keep us in eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We cling to that hope and we trust in God's love.
Stay safe and stay in touch.
Yours in Christ,Helen.