In common with other churches, Norton Church will not be holding any Services during the current pandemic. The church had originally been open during the daytime as a place of solace and private prayer but the current regulations has meant that the church is now closed.
WE INVITE VISITORS TO USE THE FOLLOWING PRAYER
Lord, in this time of anxiety, fear, and isolation, we come to you for support, encouragement, and direction. We lay our worried minds and troubled souls before you and in your care.
We are mindful of the words of the psalmist, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of their troubles. The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
Today, we ask for your Spirit to be close to those who are afflicted and those who have lost loved ones due to coronavirus. We ask for that same Spirit to be with them and us in uncertain times. Help us calm our mind and soul. May your peace that surpasses all comprehension guard our hearts and minds.
We confess that at times we allow fear, not faith, to overtake us. We have not loved you, O God, and our neighbour with our words and deeds. Holy Spirit, aid us in our love and compassion of those who live next door and those who live further away.
God of compassion and grace, we cling to your Word and your presence in our homes, our church, and community. Just as Jesus visited towns and villages to cure the sick and infirm, we place our faith and hope in your healing power. May your divine love come down upon us and our world to ends the spread of the pandemic.
Strengthen those who are ill and uplift the downtrodden. Heal the sick and comfort the lowly this day. Carry in care those who are abroad and return our loved ones home safely.
For our leaders, O Lord, we ask that your great wisdom may be instilled with them. As our national and local leaders seek protection and safety for the public, help guide their decisions and actions. We pray for the leaders of every nation. May each country receive every human resource and divine resource to combat this great ill.
Great Physician, may your hand be upon every doctor, nurse, and health care worker as they care for the sick. Lift up and care for these men and women risking and sometimes sacrificing their very lives for the public good. Guard and defend them against every harm.
Lord Christ, you are our rock and salvation in distress, worry, and doubt. Just as the light shines bright upon sunrise, we pray your light of love and guidance shines bright in our hearts and minds. May we carry your light into the world, which you love so deeply, so that we may be bearers of your grace.
Give us, Eternal Father, your grace. May the words of the prophet Isaiah be true for us this day: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
In the name of our Lord Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen
TRY MAKING CONTACT
During this time of social distancing, with the additional feeling of loneliness it may cause, we need to be aware of the needs of our neighbours. While face to face meeting is to be discouraged, particularly where vulnerable people are concerned, there are ways around the constraints and with a little thought technology can be usefully employed. Get to know the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of your neighbours and make regular contact with them in that way. It is surprising how comforting such contact can be and, for the lonely, it can break up a long and tedious day. It’s good to talk, text and e-mail. Give it a go.
TRY USING THE TECHNOLOGY
Consider using such Apps as Google ‘Hangouts’. They facilitate messaging, e-mail, phone calls, and video calls (including ‘Conferencing’) between users. It can be used on a mobile phone or a laptop. With the latter you can see the person, or people, you are talking with. Not only does this make the conversation more personal but when you are talking ‘face to face’ you can get a better idea of how they are coping. Many Apps are available for free and, with a Wi-Fi connection, are free to use.