Sunday 7th June 2020
Another week has flashed past and some of us are a year older. Today has been Trinity Sunday when we remember the three in one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God in three persons as the hymn goes. For BABC we managed a first. Thanks to our technology expert Peter we put together a service of worship which you can download and watch from the website. We plan to do this now each Sunday and I’m sure will get even better with practice.
Learning new technology is not something that excites me, but the ability to broadcast a Service of Worship for you is exciting. We have no idea when we will be able to meet again in person so this is an alternative and is available to everyone who can access the website. For me it was also a first in that as this was available, so I was also preaching at Upper Eden Baptist church on our Zoom worship this morning. When I was in West Craven I would often preach twice on a Sunday morning, but that required me to jump in my car from one church to the other as my Anglican colleague was travelling in the opposite direction between two of his churches. Now we can just sit at home looking into a camera on the computer!
Later in the day we had a family Zoom meeting. How lovely to see and talk to them in person rather than as disembodied voices.
Earlier in the week I was at another Zoom meeting with the local Church Leaders around Bishop and heard the story of an Anglican church in Gateshead which when down to 8 elderly members called in the cavalry. A church growth team of 12 were sent. The church is now attracting a congregation in excess of 200 mostly young folk. Sadly 4 of the original members have left, but the others remain in what is now a radically changed church, but one which is vibrant AND still preaching the same gospel, just in a different and more 21st century style. A lesson to us all.
We continue to collect “Fair Share” each week from Asda, Revd Frances Cummings is now doing the collection. It is shared locally and what is not distributed goes to Woodhouse Close Foodbank from where it is soon despatched to those in need.
How tragic to see the life being drained from a black American by a white police officer, whilst his colleagues stood around. No wonder that it has caused outrage around the world. We all need to be active in supporting those seeking to end prejudice, whether of colour, lifestyle, or nationality. We have a considerable number of refugees around Teeside and County Durham and we need to help those who are supporting them. We are ALL created equal and we are ALL created in the image of God. I remember being in Western Kenya some years ago. Three white faces in a community of black. We must have stood out. Yet in the time I was there I never felt different or felt any prejudice. Indeed it was a joy to meet the local people and to share worship with them. And how they enjoyed worship, jumping and dancing around. Even prepared to listen to more than one sermon in one sitting! Try that in Bishop!
May God be with you all in this coming week. Do look out for our next offering, next Sunday. The theme is about not being ashamed to own your Lord and speak the testimony of God AND be prepared to suffer as you work on the front line to bring his love to all around you.
God bless you all.