"Messenger" newsletter OCTOBER

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LEIGH BAPTIST CHURCH   MESSENGER” OCTOBER 2020     

VERNON ST / CHURCH ST . LEIGH. WN7 1BH        

 

Website :  www.leighbaptistchurch.org.uk            Contact:  admin@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk

Pastoral Leader – Val Hulme ( Days Off Wed and Fridays)

email :   pastoral.leader@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk          TEL  07817142192

Check LBC website for updates and info also LBC FACEBOOK page

 

GOD, THE ROCK.

 

We have just come to the end of Summer, but many of us have been unable to have our usual holiday(s) when we enjoy a change of scenery and view the wonderful countryside or coast, either in this country or abroad. I have, therefore, enjoyed watching different T.V. programmes that have shown places people love to visit, such as ‘Escape to the Country’ and ‘A Place in the Sun’.

 

Many places by the sea show a rocky coastline, or high cliffs, giving scenery that is interesting and very photogenic. Many people remember scrambling over rocks on the seashore, and looking to see what was living in the rock pools. Towering cliffs of rock, such as the White Cliffs of Dover, or Flamborough Head, are landmarks on our coast. Some rocks have, over the centuries, become separated from the main ones by the sea pounding against them, for example, Durdle Dor in Dorset and Marsden Rock in Co. Durham. Unfortunately the pounding of the sea against the latter caused a partial collapse so that it lost its distinctive archway.

 

In the Old Testament God is referred to as our Rock; a Rock that is strong and firm to which we can cling. We sing a hymn, ‘Rock of Ages cleft for me’, which tells us where to find help from the storms of life. We do hear of people hiding in the cleft of a rock for safety, probably with the waves of the sea getting ever nearer. Or we can imagine them trying to shelter from a storm.

The words of the chorus, ‘Ascribe greatness to our God, the Rock’, quotes Moses words in Deuteronomy 32:3-4. It goes on to say, ‘His work is perfect’. When God created the World and everything in it, He ‘saw everything that he had made and, behold, it was very good’. Genesis 1:31 (KJV). The Good News Version says, He was ‘pleased with it’.

On the day that David was ‘delivered from his enemies and from the hand of Saul’, he said, “The Lord is my Rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; ----- my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2. They are all words which suggest one who is strong, reliable, protective and trustworthy. That is our God.  Psalm 89:26 says, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation’.

In 1 Corinthians 10:4 Paul said about the Children of Israel in their wilderness journey to the Promised Land, that ‘they drank from the Spiritual Rock that went with them, and that Rock was Christ.’ So God the Father and Jesus were both referred to as The Rock.

 

As there are now more restrictions in place in our country because of the increase in  coronavirus cases, and many people are going to find life even more difficult and demanding, we need to remember that our God is the Rock in whom we can find shelter from the storms of life, and who will provide the help and strength that we need to cope in this difficult time. He is always present with us. We only have to lean on Him, tell Him how we feel and put ourselves completely in His hands. We must trust completely in our God who is our rock, our fortress and our deliverer and let His will be done. Let us therefore keep on giving Him thanks and praising Him, acknowledging that He is a great God and one to be trusted.

Psalm 95:1 tells us to make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Many of the Psalms tell us to give thanks to God and to praise Him.

 

“Ascribe greatness to our God the Rock.”

One final thought: A rock is strong, firm, gives shelter, is immovable and is something to lean upon. Such is our God. Let us praise Him and give Him all the glory for all He has done and will do for us.

 

Kathie W.

 

PASTORAL LEADER’S NOTES

We were sorry to hear that Kathleen Bailey passed away on 26th July. Her funeral was held at Howe Bridge Crematorium on 11th August. Our condolences go to her family, particularly her husband, Maurice, and children Mark and Andrea.

 

We have been looking at government and BU guidance relating to churches re-opening. We are currently putting measures into place and are completing the necessary Risk Assessments. We have set a date for re-opening of Sunday, October 11th, 10:45 am.

Due to restrictions on numbers because of social distancing, we would ask that if anyone is intending to attend worship, they contact myself on 07817142192 or  pastoral.leader@leighbaptistchurch.org.uk  by 12:00 pm (lunchtime) on the day before, Saturday.  If for some reason you are unable to attend on the day, please don't worry.

People from the same household/bubble will be able to sit together. However, this group must not be larger than 6. 

If you, or anyone that you live with, are displaying symptoms of Covid 19, are self isolating or are otherwise unwell, please do not attend, even if you have booked a place. 

Current government and BU advice is that those over 70, or with a chronic condition do not attend for their own safety. 

The church doors will open 10 minutes before the service. You will be asked to queue outside the building until the doors are open, then enter one at a time. You will need to wear a face mask/covering, unless you fall into one of the exempt categories. On entry, you will be asked to sanitise your hands, and to confirm that you do not have any symptoms of Covid 19.  We will need to keep your contact details in case anyone attending later develops symptoms and we have to alert Track and Trace. You will be asked for your permission to hold these details. A register of all who attend will be kept in the safe for 21 days, and then destroyed.

A steward will show you to your seat.  We will be seating people from the front of the church to the back to avoid crossing people's space. 

Unfortunately, we will not be able to sing as a congregation.  Hymn books and Bibles will not be available.  Should you wish to bring your own Bible that is fine, as long as you take it away with you after the service. Also, we will not be able to offer tea/coffee following the service, and sadly, there will be no opportunities to chat with one another.  We hope to be able to download and project congregational hymn singing, giving us the opportunity to reflect on the words as we listen.

At the end of the service a steward will direct you out of the building, one at a time. 

 

We recognise that our worship will look and feel different from what we are used to, but we look forward to opening our doors and worshipping God in our building once again. We also realise that for many people, this is an anxious time. Should returning to worship with others be causing you some anxiety, please do not feel that you have to attend. Please ring if you would like to talk to someone about your worries.

 

The bi-weekly Scattered Church Musings will still be available until at least the end of November. We will also continue with our Zoom Coffee Mornings on the 2nd Saturday of the month. 

 

For those who are unable to attend, and have access to the Internet, the NWBA will be continuing to offer a service on their You Tube channel for the foreseeable future. For those without internet access who are unable to attend, I will continue to make the Scattered Church Musings and a transcript of the service available, as is happening now. 

 

Our Harvest Service this year will be postponed, but not forgotten.     

                                                                                                                                          Val

 


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