Here are some pictures from our first Sunday Service since the pandemic precautions began.
We made sure there was hand sanitiser available as people came in As you can see it was a wet, windy, day!
Although there are no longer any social distancing requirements here on the island, everyone was
encouraged to leave spaces between themselves, or their family group, and the rest of the congregation to help everyone feel safe. It was wonderful to see the church filling and coming back to life.
Madeline returned to the organ, and Chris brought the Bible back into Church for the first time since March 15th.
We were able to sing as all our restrictions have been lifted.
And we were able to enjoy tea and a chat as usual. But because our coffee room is quite small we put tables into church instead so that people could continue to space out and feel safe.
And here is Rev. Dawn's letter for July;
How wonderful to be reunited with our church fellowships today. At St. Andrew’s we were blessed with not only a good congregation but also a new attender who joined us for coffee afterwards. I hope that the service in the north was equally joyful as we celebrated all that we had learnt through the period of lock down and social distancing.
At St. Andrew’s we showed pictures of our church families at home, where adults continued with work whilst teaching children. Of people who lived alone filling their time with various activities, not least showing beautiful pictures of gardens in full bloom, we shared, through pictures and words, how we continued to be church even though in separate homes, through our recorded services, and monthly pastoral letters, and celebrating Easter through challenging our young people to make and share on our Facebook page Lego models of the Easter story. I especially liked the last supper scene with some very unkosher food displayed. We showed pictures of new things we had learnt during lock down, not least how to record our services and put them on YouTube and how to hold Zoom meetings. We celebrated and gave thanks to God for our community, for those who had cared for others, public servants who saw us through the crisis, politicians, and healthcare workers to name but a few.
I could not stop smiling the whole time, throughout the service I felt so grateful to God for everyone who had come through this experience with their faith intact and their love for one another strengthened. My prayer from now on is that we will never take our time together for granted, but recognise the joy, hope and faith that is found in meeting one with the other, face to face in the presence of God.
In both churches we have lost a valued member of our church communities during lock down. In St. Andrew’s during our communion service next week we will share time remembering and giving thanks for Irene and the Sunday after at St. Paul’s hall we will spend a little time doing the same for Paul.
If you have not yet attended church you are not forgotten, we have worked hard to ensure that even the most vulnerable feel secure meeting together, and we would urge you to support our URC website and Facebook page so you can continue to be a part of us.
I would like to thank you all for your participation in the work of the kingdom over the last few months and ask for your continued prayers that our work will prosper and that we will see others join us, as we give thanks to God for leading us and our communities through the pandemic. Finally, I would like to remind you that there are those who have lost loved ones due to the Corona virus, our prayers for peace and comfort for their relatives and friends are an important part of loving our neighbour in the aftermath of all we have endured.
May the grace of God be with you all until we meet again.