There won’t be a ‘thought for the day’ next week as it is Holy Week. Instead there will be a service online each day, which will hopefully give a ‘thought’. There will also be an All-age section with projects to do throughout the week. Tomorrow will see an attachment with a little quiz for the week, and there is also a competition for decorated eggs planned for next Sunday. Serious and light-hearted, we’ll bring you both
Each day we hear of people dying as a result of catching coronavirus, and the sad situation of relatives who cannot be with their loved one in their dying moments because of quarantine restrictions, and often cannot attend the funeral too. There are many other bereavements each day where coronavirus is not involved in the cause of death, but, because of the restrictions brought in by it, they face the same difficult experiences of not being with their relative as they die, and not being able to attend the funeral. It is very hard for all concerned.
Lord, especially as we approach Good Friday, we know that you understand what pain and grieving are like. We pray for all who are alone in their last hours, the staff who are seeking to provide the comfort they need, and the relatives whose grief is made worse because they cannot say ‘goodbye’ in the way that they would wish. May they know you peace and love with them. May we offer what help and support we can. Amen
The weather forecasters say that the temperatures are to go up over the weekend. Ordinarily that would be a great excuse for going out for a day at the coast or in the country, maybe a barbecue, or friends and family round for a party outdoors. But these aren’t ordinary times. It isn’t easy keeping children or teenagers amused, especially if it is warm outside, and you don’t have a garden. However the advice is to stick to the Lockdown guidelines, for the sake of everyone but especially those who are vulnerable, and those who work in the health service, social care etc.
Lord, following the guidelines isn’t easy. Though it is harder for some than for others. Help us all adhere to them, for everyone’s sake, and to help those who are struggling to cope. Amen
Alongside healthcare staff, there are a variety of other groups who are in the ‘front line’ such as care sector workers in care homes, supported accommodation and visiting clients in their own homes. They provide a valuable service, and are also exposed to risk of catching infection. We want to express our appreciation and support, and pray for their safety.
Lord, thank you for the work of care sector workers, in care homes, supported accommodation, clients’ own homes, and anywhere else. May they know they are appreciated. Keep them safe. Amen
For teachers and many of their pupils this is a hard time, trying to keep pupils motivated to learn, supporting those who were due to take exams/ leave school/ hopefully move on to college or work/ make choices for next year’s subjects – and for staff adjusting to remote teaching. Some are also in school working with children of ‘key workers’ or from vulnerable families.
Lord we pray for teachers, pupils and parents/guardians coping with the current situation, with the uncertainty, disappointment and worry. As the official ‘school holidays’ approach we pray that staff in particular may have time to relax and ‘recharge the batteries’. May they know that we appreciate all that they are doing. Amen
A friend was talking about a neighbour’s toddler, who will be getting very used to having Mummy and Daddy around all the time, but not encountering anyone else, including other children. What will be the effect of ‘getting back to normal’, interacting with other people, and discovering that Mummy and Daddy are not always on hand?
Lord, we do not know what unseen effects this period of Social Distancing/ Social Isolation could have on various groups in the community. We pray that all may come through it safely and be able to re-engage with people at the end with no long-term consequences. Amen
Over the weekend we heard from various ‘Socially isolated because of age’ friends how much they appreciated phone calls, e-mails and using the ‘visual technology’ of the internet and social media – some even said they had seen their family more often by such means than they had ‘in the flesh’ in recent weeks. But some also remarked on those who don’t have access to smart phones, the internet etc, or don’t have a network of family, friends and neighbours keeping in touch.
Lord, thank you for the new technologies that enable us to keep in touch with friends and family. Help us to use them wisely and to support others. Help us also to recognise where people do not have such technology, or do not have people to contact them, and play our part in keeping in touch with them. Amen
The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting probably every country in the world (and if not all, then most). We are conscious of the pressures on our health service, but in many Developing countries they have a much less comprehensive healthcare system: fewer staff, fewer facilities, less equipment, people unable to pay for healthcare, and in some cases suspicion of ‘Western’ medicine.
Lord, we pray for those who work in healthcare in countries where the system could well be overwhelmed by the Coronavirus pandemic. Keep them safe, keep them strong, provide them with what they need. We pray too for those with the illness, and their families. Amen
Yesterday, the Government announced measures to help self-employed people who have lost income as a result of the measures introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus. Many are worried about their finances and how to pay their bills.
Lord, we pray for everyone – employed, self-employed, on zero-hours contracts, applying for benefits etc – who are worried about their finances, how they will pay their bills, and keep themselves and their families fed and housed. Bring them comfort and relief. Amen
It was a dreich day today. In ‘normal circumstances’ it would not be an easy day to have children at home during the school holidays. But these are not ‘normal times’ and come fair weather or foul most children are at home, indoors – some don’t have the option of going out in the garden because they don’t have a garden.
Lord we pray for those looking after children at this time, trying to keep them occupied and cheery. Grant them the patience and love they need. Inspire them with what to do. May this time of ‘Lockdown’ be a time to build relationships, not one that leaves people ‘not speaking’ or feeling that they have ‘lost’ time in their lives. Encourage us to offer ideas and suggestions where we can.