"Messenger" newsletter SEPTEMBER

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LEIGH BAPTIST CHURCH   MESSENGER” SEPTEMBER  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

 

GALATIANS 5:22 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

 

PATIENCE

I can be impatient. I hate having to stand in a long queue at a checkout, or wait for a long time for a bus that is already over due. But if I think about those things, I should be thankful that there is a bus that I can wait for; or a shop where I can buy the necessities of life. There are so many people who do not have enough food, or who have to walk miles to get water for washing and for drinking; water which is often contaminated and unclean. Many others no longer have a home to go to because of natural or man made disasters.

Throughout the world the Coronavirus has caused disruption and chaos. We in this country are not alone in having to put up with restrictions in the way we live and many people are in a worse situation than we are, but we still find it a difficult time to live in. It is not surprising that, after five months of restrictions, we long to get back to a more normal way of life. But just when some of us thought we would be able to see more of our families, the door was once again closed. Thankfully, for those in the Wigan borough, some restrictions have again been lifted.

A lot of patience is therefore still needed as there are many rules and regulations to adhere to, especially for meeting in buildings, including Churches.

This makes me think of the patience of Jesus, standing at the door of our hearts and knocking, wanting to come in and waiting for the door to be opened. 2 Peter 3:15 NIV says, “--- our Lord’s patience means salvation,” and in v 14, “__ make every effort to be ---- at peace with Him.”  “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.” Isaiah 26:3 NKJV. If we have peace, the more likely we are to be patient and if we have patience, the more likely we are to have peace.

In 2 Corinthians 6:4 GNB the Apostle Paul says, “In everything we do we show that we are God’s servants by patiently enduring troubles, hardships and difficulties.” Surely that is an example for us to follow. Paul suffered and endured so much. 

 

As a nation, have we been too impatient to get back to normal before all that is necessary has been put in place? Depending on one’s circumstances, different people will have different answers to that question.

Sometimes impatience can be a good thing. It can make us get things done for ourselves, or for the good of others, but it still has to be at the right time and in the right way. It is no good taking measures to ‘get going’ if it leads to going back to more restrictions. That way it will take longer to recover.

I enjoy watching the television programme, ‘Father Brown’, which has some amusing parts in it. The impatient Inspector usually arrests the first person he thinks of when a murder has been committed, whereas Father Brown continues to work patiently to produce the evidence that points to the real killer, so enabling the innocent prisoner to be released. His patience in taking time to look for the real evidence achieves the right result.

Those in authority have had to be patient, learning what to do step by step. As Christians we need to pray constantly for them that God will guide them and give them his wisdom in all the decisions they have to make to deal with the virus. But let us remember that God’s timing is not the same as our timing. In the hymn, “Our God our help in ages past”, Isaac Watts wrote, “A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an evening gone.” We often need to be patient as we wait for answers to prayer.

Only God has the answers to our problems, but He does make His will known to those who call on Him in ‘spirit and in truth’, and who are willing to be patient and to wait for the right time which will be made clear to them. We need to pray for there to be people in authority who can discern God’s leading.

 

We all hope that a vaccine will be found and developed quickly.  I have been really amazed at all the stages that have to be gone through before a vaccine can be proved to be safe enough to be used on the general public. How patient those scientists have to be. Patience is said to be a virtue! Let us remember to pray for those scientists and for a vaccine to be available soon. Let us also give thanks for all that has been achieved in treating the virus, and for all the medical staff who have, and are, working so hard to treat it in the hospitals.

We are told in Ephesians 5:20 NKJV to “always give thanks for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In Colossians 1:11 GNB Paul prays, “May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from His glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience, and with joy give thanks to the Father.”    Let us make that our prayer for ourselves and for one another and continue to pray for guidance for our Church leaders in the decisions they have to make.

 

The God of peace be with you                    Kathie.

 

PASTORAL LEADER’S NOTES

The leadership team continues to look towards reopening the church. Guidelines have changed slightly. Face coverings must be worn by all who attend. Whilst worship groups/bands are now allowed to play and sing, congregational singing is still not allowed.

 

We are consulting with members of the congregation regarding their feelings about reopening.  Once we have done this and ensured that the appropriate measures have been put in place, we will announce a date for reopening.  We would value your prayers as we study, and seek to follow, government guidelines.

 

In the meantime, our current programme of bi - monthly services on our You Tube channel/Facebook page, Zoom meetings and Scattered Church Musings will continue. 

 

Please continue to pray for our dedicated  NHS staff;  for shops and businesses in our town which have been badly affected by the restrictions; for all who have lost their jobs during lockdown.                                            Blessings Val.

 

Another of Rev Nick Fawcett’s Covid19 Prayers:

 

As I keep my distance Lord, from others, teach me to respect them, to value them

To acknowledge them, to care about them.

 

Though I must keep apart for their sake as much as mine, remind me that we belong together,

Bound by our common humanity, by your love for all.

 

And though I must keep many still at arm’s length, may that only be in body and not in spirit,

My concern for them not being diminished but enlarged  -   my love, my compassion,

My desire to reach out and respond remaining as real as ever,

And finding new ways in which it can be expressed.

 

Keep us safe Lord, keep us well, keep us strong, and though for now we must stay apart,

Keep us also together.                                      AMEN     © Nick Fawcett

 

 

BMS Birthdays SEPTEMBER    21st Kathleen Morton   22nd Elaine Davies


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