Evening Prayer

Date: June 21, 2020

Dear Friends,

It was a joy to be able to open the doors of St John’s this morning to
those who are able to come for private prayer. I very much appreciate not
everyone feels yet able to attend and I continue to hold the congregation
in my prayers. Thank you to all those who came and abided by the
presently-obligatory hand sanitising and social distancing. If you have any
feedback, it would be most welcome.

We shall be celebrating the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist on
Wednesday, and the church will be open for private prayer between *6-7pm*.
I look forward to my first marking of this feast alongside you. There shall
be a short online service uploaded that day, and I shall write further with
some reflections.

Our services for today can be listened to here:
https://soundcloud.com/stjohnswimbledon

Rosie remarks:

*I can only speak for myself when I say how strange and wonderful it was to
open up St John’s for private prayers today. I have a deep-seated knowledge
that this change has come with both exceptionally positive reactions from
some and desperately negative from others, with many of us landing on that
spectrum somewhere. How wonderful to be back in a familiar, holy place and
– yet – how sad that it is, by definition of geography, accessibility and
abiding by the advice of the Government, somewhat exclusive.

As we strive to be an inclusive church, I continue to pray that we find
ways through these ever-changing and challenging times – that aspects of
what we have built, in terms of accessible online worship, may be
sustainable; that we are able to learn to celebrate and grieve together,
from a 2m distance or significantly further; that we trust in God’s
goodness and willingness to know and love us at our best and at our worst.

On this learning curve of life and ministry, please continue to keep us in
your prayers. I never thought I’d see the day where I added a little extra
to a church newsletter as ‘the Vicar’s wife’ and yet here we are! This is
not how we (Stephen and I) anticipated his/our first year here being and
so, I guess, I’d ask you to be generous with us. We have made mistakes
(through omission or otherwise) and will, no doubt, make more. Yet, know
that we keep you, the ministry of St John’s and the wider needs of the
church and world in our prayers.

May we gain strength from God, learn from the teachings of Christ and know
the peace of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
*
*The Bishops, Archdeacons and Dean of the Diocese, are calling the people
of the Diocese to observe two minutes’ silence at 11.00am on Windrush Day,
Monday 22 June.*

Bishop Christopher writes:  “I rejoice at and take pride in the diversity
within the Diocese of Southwark which I see as God’s gift and blessing. We
have stood strongly with the Black Lives Matter campaign and we want also
to lament past and present injustices and wrongs, celebrating the gifts and
talents of people of Caribbean heritage and the many ways they have
enriched our churches and parishes. As we spend two minutes in silence let
us contemplate the lives lost in the slave trade; lament the racism and
racial inequality built into our national systems and structures since that
time; and consider what action we can take to confront racial injustice
today.”

*God of all,
who loves each of us for who we are,
to whom each life matters,
who counts the hairs on our head
who knows when a sparrow falls;
teach us to love as you love
to respect, to honour, to care
and to protect
each of our sisters and brothers,
that your embracing,
including kingdom
may come now
and your love be known. Amen*

I attach some pictures of St John’s from this morning, a little glimpse of
the “new normal”.

With kind regards,

Stephen & Rosie

Service times

Sunday

8:30am Holy Communion (BCP)
10:15am Sung Eucharist

2nd Sunday of the month

10:15am All Welcome Service