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Coronavirus - updated details 

 


Coronavirus guidance from the Methodist Church



Church leaders respond to the coronavirus pandemic

The Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, together with Church leaders from denominations across Britain and Ireland, have issued a statement in response to the ongoing crisis.

 

“God’s world is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. In the nations that make up Britain and Ireland the Covid-19 virus continues to affect people at an alarming rate, health services along with many of our institutions and organisations, both local and national, are under extreme pressure and people are getting used to living in a very different way, many in extreme isolation. As with all such crises, there is a danger that the most vulnerable in society will be most badly affected.

 

Christians the world over are entering an important time in the church year as we look to the events of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. At the centre of our common faith are both the depths of despair and the heights of joy. In the Bible and in the songs and liturgies of the Church, we see Jesus entering fully into human suffering. In His rising again, that suffering is redeemed and transformed into hope and joy. After Jesus’ death his disciples were afraid and all seemed lost and hopeless, but the risen Christ met them in their despair and restored hope through his victory over death. We pray that the world today might know this hope in place of despair.

 

In the Book of Daniel, we read about God’s people being taken into exile in Babylon. Daniel could not pray in the Temple in Jerusalem, but he continued to pray in exile – opening his window to face Jerusalem. Though he was on his own he joined with the prayers of the people wherever they were. Now we too are separated from each other physically, but when we pray in our homes we join in with this ancient tradition of our home as a place of prayer. Wherever we are, whenever we pray, when we speak and think of Christ, there he is in the midst of us. We join our prayers with all those who pray in our own churches and communities and around the world.

 

As church leaders from across the many and varied churches of these Islands we urge all people to join us in prayer this Holy Week and Easter; to pray for those who suffer, those who face untimely death and all those who care for them; to celebrate our common faith at a difficult time; to help and support our neighbours in need; and to observe all the safeguards in place to slow the spread of disease.”

 

Our Prayer

 

Loving God, in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for our salvation, cast out the darkness of our anxiety, fear and mourning, enfold us in your love and give us joy and hope this Easter. Amen.

 




Message from Rev Julie


Julie is writing a weekly pastoral letter. If you have already received this directly then she has your email address! If not and you would like to in future, then drop her an email.

 

This includes some resources for worship at home and details of how to keep in touch via pastoral groups, Centenary on Sundays and praying at 12 noon.

 


Follow this link for a home service sheet.

 




Coronavirus:


Care of yourself and those around you


https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/news/the-methodist-blog/coronavirus-taking-care-of-yourself-and-those-around-you/

 

Our increasing isolation, the bombardment of negative and worrying news stories and concerns for those we love can heighten anxiety levels and cause depression. Here are some resources that can boost wellbeing and mental health to help build resilience at this difficult time.

 



Taking care of yourself and those around you


Each year at the beginning of lent we hear how Jesus was led into the wilderness, where he was tested.  The wilderness is of course an isolated space; it becomes a testing place precisely because of the isolation.  We believe that human beings were created to live in relationship.  Relationship with one another and primarily with our Creator God.  So now in the lent of 2020 we find ourselves, more than ever, understanding what Jesus went through – and we can be assured that God has experience this too.

 

We read in the scriptures that in the wilderness Jesus was tested by the devil.  The taunts of “the evil one” have echo of what we might experience today:  increasing isolation, bombardment of negative and worrying news stories and concerns for the health of those we love, can heighten anxiety levels and cause depression.

 

Here are some resources that that can boost wellbeing and mental health to help build resilience at this difficult time.

 


Anxiety and depression

The mental health charity, Mind has produced a comprehensive set of resources:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

 

Practical help to overcome anxiety is here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/#TakeCareOfYourMentalHealthAndWellbeing This advice emphasises the importance of routines, relaxation and remaining connected with others. Tips are offered for parents who are working from home but have children with them.

 

The NHS offers a breathing technique that can be used to help reduce stress: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/ways-relieve-stress/

 

The charity Anxiety UK has produced a couple of helpful blogs which recommend a number of relaxation and calming measures including using the Headspace app. https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/blog/health-and-other-forms-of-anxiety-and-coronavirus/

 


For older people

This is likely to be a particularly worrying time for older people. Age UK has a section of helpful general information:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/coronavirus/

 

Loneliness is known to affect older people and the potential for this to become more widespread now is clear. Two charities that offer helplines are Sane and the Silver Line.

 

SANEline is staffed by trained volunteers and professionals and is open between 4.30pm and 10.30pm every day of the year on 0300 304 7000.

http://www.sane.org.uk/resources/news/show_news/946

 

Silver Line offers a weekly life line of a telephone conversation to people over 55. Find out more by calling 0800 4 70 80 90. https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/telephone-friendship/

 


Keep connected with Church friends

While church buildings may be closed, many church communities are offering telephone pastoral care and the chance to be part of an online worship community. Wesley’s Chapel is live streaming services: https://www.wesleyschapel.org.uk/livestreaming/

 

Open to Life - Open to God - Open to You - Open to the World  | zionmethodistchurch@live.co.uk