ASH WEDNESDAY – The world’s no stage where we are acting

 
 
The world's no stage where we are acting
  
 1          The world's no stage where we are acting 
             to show how good we think we are; 
             this is no place to call attention, 
             or seek acclaim from near or far.
             
 2          Our prayers are worthless, void and empty  
             when uttered for the crowd's applause, 
             much more of worth are silent actions, 
             compassion shown behind closed doors.
             
 3          So find a place, that's quiet, secluded, 
             a simple room where we can pray, 
             and then in words that Jesus taught us 
             let's seek the bread for each new day.
             
 4          Let's join in humble prayer and fasting,
             while making little of the act, 
             and then our witness, plainly worded, 
             will add its essence to love's fact.
 
Andrew Pratt
Words © 2011 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, copyright@stainer.co.uk 
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Metre: 9 8 9 8
Tune: ST CLEMENT
 
 

Letter to United Methodist Church from UK Methodists

Letter to United Methodist Church – from the President and Vice President of the Methodist Church UK

https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/news/latest-news/all-news/at-a-time-of-political-transition-for-the-us-the-presidency-writes-to-the-united-methodist-church/

Covid-19 has mutated

So Covid-19 has mutated.

If only we had taken note of Richard Dawkins instead of lambasting him for his poor understanding of theology we might have learnt something to our advantage from his book, ‘The Selfish Gene’. This mutation was bound to happen. Mutations aren’t weird but natural and normal

All living things, however complex or simple, have a built in mechanism for self-preservation. Humans run away from lions, fish swim in shoals to save all of them being eaten by dolphins.

The Covid-19 virus was affected by our avoidance strategies. Relatively speaking it is a simple organism, a complex chemical. It can change, and does change, regularly, as a matter of course. It doesn’t think about this. It just happens. We can’t predict how it will change, but what is certain is it will.

Changes which are beneficial to the virus will enable its survival. Genes survive if they are ‘selfish’ – though there is no intention implied in this.

We have slowed the virus’s transmission by simple processes of washing our hands, social distancing and wearing masks.

A change which enables the virus to transmit more effectively is beneficial to it. Until we have effective vaccination we need to maintain actions which lessen that transmission. These actions will need to be kept in place until the R number is consistently below one to the point where the virus is no longer transmitted and/or an effective, long-term vaccination has been administered to everyone and test and trace is applied to anyone entering each country. Unless we are to exist as a totally isolated country all of this has to be applied with totality internationally.

This has massive economic and social consequences which we need to address to enable ALL people to participate in these measures and to survive. The process is not indefinite, but it is inevitably long-term. Our willingness to participate in this process is, for Christians, an indication of our love of our neighbours. Survival is predicated on our willingness to make personal and corporate sacrifices.

Without them the virus wins.

BBC News – Independent SAGE representative suggests whole of UK should be on Tier 4 (2200hrs 22/12/2020)

God marks no ending, only new beginnings – Hymn/Poem – Methodist New Year – and other times of change or new-ness or loss

God marks no ending, only new beginnings,
until the consummation of our lives;
God keeps no count of losses, nor of winnings:
we move through grace, the holy spirit thrives.

So as we go beyond this time, this setting,
rememb’ring all the laughter and the tears;
we go with God in faith, so not regretting
the moments shared, the hopes, the dreams, the fears.

Though parted for a while, we travel onward,
not knowing what the future has in store.
This phase will close, the spirit draws us forward,
we’ve tasted love, but God has promised more!

Words © 2006 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk. Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

11 10 11 10 Suggested Tune: LORD OF THE YEARS

Here we will meet to praise – as congregations gather again in whatever way in COVID-19

Here we will meet to praise, with hesitation,
while conscious of our frailty and fear.
Here we will meet for prayer and meditation,
God, Spirit, ever-present, come, draw near.

Here we will raise our eyes to things above us,
while needy people break our sense of peace.
We recognise, O God, that you still love us,
but also those who clamour for release.

Here we will meet in unity of purpose,
enable us to find you in our hearts,
that we might be alive, not just a carcass,
a living, thriving body where love starts.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 2014 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk.Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Metre: 11 10 11 10
Tunes: HIGHWOOD; O PERFECT LOVE
As published on worship Cloud (www.worshipcloud.com)