25 April 2020

Dear friends,

As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks into months, we need to persevere and stay strong in mind, body and spirit.  Some of us started from a good place.  Others of us were struggling before our world got turned upside down once again.  But wherever we started from, how do we find food and company for the mind, body and spirit to give us strength to survive and, dare I say it, to thrive?  

As a church, we’re finding ways to do this ourselves as well as linking with others in our community to share resources.

Providing, or looking for, practical help

Start at home, and with your family and friends.  I’m sure you’re already doing this and you’re likely to know, better than anyone else, how best to help.  If things get difficult then there are other ways to help, outlined below, that you might want to know about.

Helping near neighbours that you may not know so well
a)  We’ve linked with other groups and volunteers in Hardwick to design and print a postcard that you can drop through your neighbours’ doors with offers of different kinds of help.  Help can include shopping for someone, a friendly phone call, walking the dog.  This is all done on a voluntary basis, and any items purchased should be paid for by the person you’re helping.  There is a WhatsApp group to support volunteers and share information.  If you would like to help in this way, please contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction.

b)  We run an afternoon drop-in via Zoom on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday afternoons.  If you would like to drop in for a chat you’re welcome.  Or maybe you would simply to chat on the phone to someone.  Please contact us

Helping people who are in financial difficulty and might not be able to afford food or basic essentials. 
I (Steve) am able to issue Foodbank vouchers for people who are in financial hardship.  These vouchers can be used to obtain a foodbox of non-perishable food and other basic essentials that are tailored to the needs of the household, from any of the Foodbank distribution centres in Cambridge or Cambourne.   These are intended to be used as a temporary stop-gap, for example, while waiting for benefits to come through.  If you think you need a foodbank voucher, or know someone who might, please contact us.

Our church also has a welfare fund in our church budget and this can be used to pay for food and basic essentials where that might be a more appropriate option.  If you’re wanting to help someone in this way, again please contact us to check we still have the finances to help. 

Providing, or looking for, spiritual help

During these times of social distancing God is still nearer than you think – whether or not it feels like that.  We have various initiatives to help us grow in our spiritual understanding:

Sunday morning service:  Our regular congregation meets via Zoom at 10:30am.  This service is live-streamed to YouTube so anyone can watch it.  Bible-based activities are circulated for families to use with their younger children when it suits the family.  After the service the congregation catch up with each other over a virtual coffee time.  We’re looking into ways that people who have watched on YouTube could join a group for coffee and chat, if they would like to.

Wednesday morning village prayers together with St Mary’s Church: Bible readings and prayers, some written and some open via Zoom.  Contact us for details.

Mid-week small groups (via Zoom). We have groups of households that meet on Monday or Thursday evening, and an open prayer gathering on Wednesday evening.

Pastoral support through phone calls, WhatsApp, etc.

TryPraying – an initiative to encourage people to pray more.  Click here for more.

And finally …

The word “church” has its origins in an ancient Greek word meaning “of the Lord” and was used to refer to a family house that was also used for Christian worship, “the Lord’s house” or “God’s house”.  The concept of church is linked closely to that of families or households who worship the Lord, Jesus Christ.  There is a recognition that it is good to meet up with the wider family to encourage and learn from each other, but that the place is less important than the attitude of those gathered.  The first and foremost attitude, Jesus said, is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”.  And the second is similar: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (taken from the Bible, Matthew 22:37-39).

Let’s do this!

Steve (Gaze)
Co-Minister, Hardwick Evangelical Church

Hardwick Evangelical Church

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