Dear friends,

As I said in the first of these weekly emails, part of my role at Basingstoke Hospital at the moment is to run a drop-in session in the Chapel.  I’m there for a couple of hours from noon on Mondays to be a listening ear for anyone who wants to come and offload.  One benefit for me is getting a sense of the kinds of pressures that staff members are under.  One mentioned recently that she was finding life all the harder because she was missing church: hers has shut down completely because there is no-one to set up communication channels.  The conversation reminded me to be thankful to God for his provision of our facilities and the people to operate what is becoming quite a full programme.

I’m sorry that this is too late to remind you about today’s Friday45 gathering which, as I write, has just finished.  But here is news about a couple of other events.

On Sunday we shall be continuing our series in Luke’s gospel.  This may surprise you as we got to the end of it last week!  But you may remember that we skipped the middle chapters in order to look at Luke’s account of the events of the first Easter at the appropriate time.  So now we’re going back to where we left off and this week we’re studying Luke 7:1-30.  Do have a read through in preparation.

Also this week we’re going to be including a regular feature of our pre-lockdown services: our time of publicly thanking God for his many blessings.  When you’re in the service, there’s a row of buttons at the bottom of the screen which appear when you move your mouse (or tap your phone screen).  If you click on ‘Participants’ you will have an option to ‘Raise a hand’ (if you’re on a phone or tablet, it’s under ‘More…’).  By clicking on this, you’ll be able to indicate that you would like to speak and we’ll come to each person in turn.

Church Family Study Evenings

On Wednesday evenings, starting on 6 May, we are offering the opportunity to gather via Zoom for a time of teaching, discussion and fellowship as a church family.  We shall gather at 7:45pm and have the opportunity to catch up with friends, then at 8:00pm we shall split into two different streams to study the Bible. You can choose between two options, both of which include some video content and then discussion:

  1. Discipleship Explored: We mentioned this before Easter and a number of people have signed up already. It’s an opportunity to think about what it means to be and live as a Christian, going through the book of Philippians together.
  2. God’s Big Picture: An overview of the whole Bible!  Don’t worry – we won’t be looking at everything, but this will give you a whistle-stop tour from Genesis to Revelation and help you to see how the whole Bible story fits together. It would be great if you could buy a copy of the book on which the course is based, availablehere.  You’d only need to read one chapter a week, and if you don’t manage to do that, don’t worry—you will still get lots out of the weekly sessions.

It would help us to plan if you could sign up in advance for the option you would like to choose.  You can do this on My ChurchSuite or via thewebsite (remember that if you log into the website at the bottom of the page you won’t have to enter your details on the booking).

Prayer

You’re very welcome to join in our prayer times: daily (except Sunday) for Morning Prayer at 8:00am and weekly for Friday45 at 7:00pm.  As a suggestion for your private prayers, and as a break from coronavirus, you may like to use Gafcon’s ‘Moment and Prayer‘ which is updated weekly.

Food

Please don’t forget the Foodbank: donations can be brought to the Good Shepherd between 10:30 and noon on Mondays or Fridays; if you would prefer to stay at home, we can collect from your doorstep.  And if you know of someone who is struggling to afford food or who just needs some shopping done or prescriptions collected, please put them in touch with us (327305) so that we can mobilize our brilliant volunteers.

Tim (don’t forget his growing website for non-Christians) and Jamie join me in sending you love in our Lord Jesus.

John

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