Love and greetings to you all from David Sims.I have been at All Saints since I was 12 years old, which is quite a long time really! Before that, I was a Crusader at a house in Chestfield. From school in Canterbury, I went to a Billy Graham afternoon in London with our teacher. I didn't "go forward" but I felt God's call to greater commitment. I studied languages and worked as a Translator in London. Made redundant twice. I then became a Pastoral Visitor from All Saints, seeing mostly elderly folk in Care Homes and in their own homes. I am now elderly, thought I had retired, and found that I hadnt !
I am one of the team of Pastoral Assistants.
David writes as follows:
On Easter Sunday, we enjoyed an amazing family lunch. Amazing to Carol and me anyway; Rebecca and Paul have to keep apart because he is a policeman and she is asthmatic, so Paul is living, working
and sleeping in their cabin, which is comfortably appointed, but at the bottom of the garden. So for lunch,they rigged up a system whereby Rebecca and the boys were in the kitchen on their I Pad, Paul was in the cabin on his, and Carol and I were at home on our I Pad , all eating Sunday lunch and chatting to one another as though we were all together. It might not seem incredible to you, but it did to us, and it was such fun as well! Rebecca is a teacher and is teaching the boys at home, so they won't fall behind in their studies.
Every day at midday, I link into Midday Prayers on the screen from Rev Dr Gillian Straine, who is the Director of The Guild of Health and St Raphael, of which I have been a member since the 1960's and recently retired as a Trustee. The Guild is all about Christian Healing as is offered at All Saints every Thursday and on a few Sundays through the year. Gillian is providing this space for prayer, readings and reflections every week day while the virus is with us. You might find it helpful to link in every midday at www.gohealth.org.uk . She recently said, regarding our faith that "Christ is risen (indeed) ",
that this does not mean that we can say "good, everything is going to be ok now" but that we proclaim this belief as a challenge to what is happening at the moment. If you like, and this is me speaking now, " do your worst; Christ HAS risen, Christ IS risen" and we proclaim this as ( if you like) our battle cry.
From the Church Times: " We are learning to stand still. It has taken a microscopic virus, pathetic and invisible as it laughs in our faces, to halt our crazy scurrying. The bottom-line hope of Easter, the victory of life at the end of this long Lent, will consist of joyful hugs and affection and a craving for fellowship at the end of a long fast. Then we will say, as St Francis did, "Blessed are you , O Lord, for Brother Coronavirus, who has taught us to be humble once again and to value life and fellowship".
Take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16 v.33)
I would like to end by quoting a prayer which the Archbishops created for the Brexit situation but which absolutely fits in with where we are now: " O God of reconciling hope, as you guided your people in the past, so guide us through the turmoil of this present time and bring us to that place of flourishing where our unity can be restored, the common good served and all shall be made well.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen."
Christos anesti! Khristos voskresye! Christus ist erstanden! Christ IS risen! Yes, He is!! Go forth,
and believe the Gospel.